It was fourth time lucky for Work Club Global who finally opened its first dedicated cocktail bar last week, Valhalla is located in the heart of its Melbourne location.
The design firm faced three delays to its opening due to lockdowns from the pandemic and was feathered with difficulties in the design process, quickly learned the differing needs of an office space to a bar environment.
Founder and CEO of Work Club Soren Trampedach said: “We wanted to take all the lessons we’ve learned designing social spaces for offices and apply them to a late-trading cocktail bar environment.
“Like any first go at something, we encountered some challenges, the operational needs of a cocktail bar are far different than the needs of flexible office space. But every challenge is an opportunity for creativity, and our spatial limitations have informed how we approach everything from the style of service to the food and drinks menus.
“We had to delay our opening date three times due to the global pandemic, while this spared us the frantic rush of most bar opens, the uncertainty of when we would be able to open made us liable to overthink our offering, especially for a menu so informed by the changing seasons.”
Despite these challenges, after the opening night Soren told Bars and Clubs: “I’m immensely happy, the bar does what every good bar should do, upon entering Valhalla all the stresses of the workday melt away and you feel transported to a different world.”
Valhalla is located in Work Club’s Olderfleet location, which services 37-floors of office space. However, Work Club has plans to open the bar to the entire city’s vibrant night life.
Soren said: “Valhalla allows us to expand that space and service to the rest of the city. Melbourne is a city with so many excellent bars and restaurants.
“Our drinks offering is cutting edge and worthy of a city with such high standards, featuring inspired and creative techniques designed to showcase the best ingredients we can get our hands on.
“The Olderfleet building can house more than 7,000 people at full capacity, the size of a small town. And the bar is part of an area of the CBD with high foot traffic but few options for food and drinks.”
“Valhalla has already formed the centrepiece for a vibrant community from Work Club’s member base and the Olderfleet Building’s tenants; we look forward to opening the community to Melbourne as a whole.”
He added: “While the menu takes a Nordic approach to Australian ingredients from our two most important ecosystems, the environment around us and our local community of small, passionate and independent suppliers [so] the real focus for Valhalla will be the community we are able to create.
Despite Valhalla not being Work Club’s first bar design, Soren said opening a dedicated cocktail bar is not an easy undertaking and advises bar owners or entrepreneurs to utilise the experience of their team should they wish to open a new venue.
He said: “We have small bars in each of our Work Club locations and saw that these spaces formed a crucial part of our ‘connected human ecosystems’.
“Understand that bars and restaurants are not an easy undertaking, as new entrants into an industry we were unfamiliar with, we were only able to achieve what we’ve done by listening to the opinions and expert experience of our team.”