Raw, rotten and loud concept for Newcastle bar Closed

Closed bar

A new food and cocktail bar, Closed, has opened its doors in Newcastle, spearheaded by Food and Beverage Director Doug Laming (The Big Easy, The Rabbit Hole Bar) and ex-Subo chef Alannah Miceli.

Spanning two floors on Beaumont Street, the sustainability-driven concept adopts a zero-waste approach with a root to leaf menu and a minimal intervention wine list.

The focus for design studio Patternshop was to create a space that blends the raw industrial elements of the venue with polished elegance, intended to reflect Newcastle’s rich history.

Downstairs, guests will find a casual bar, leading to an exclusive upper floor cocktail area with large open-air terraces. Contrasting the bold wall colours and wall mural by local artist Jordan Lucky are velvet booths and soft lighting.

Closed Alannah Miceli and
Food and Beverage Director, Doug Laming and Head Chef Alannah Miceli

At Doug’s helm, Closed boasts an innovative cocktail menu, incorporating pickling, fermenting and smoking techniques, and featuring one of New South Wales’ strongest legal drinks. The Cure, crafted with Poor Toms Strawberry Gin, Lillet Rosé, Rhubi Mistelle, strawberry shrub, lemon and rhubarb bitters, offers a sweet and tangy flavour profile.

Other standout cocktails include Jazz Jands, comprising gin, yuzushu, fermented passionfruit, honey, lemon, orange blossom and whites, with a sweet citrus flavour profile, and Always Down to Clown, a cucumber Dirty Martini made with all-Australian ingredients.

Many of the wines on offer at Closed have been sourced from outside of the Newcastle market, predominantly coming from small and boutique suppliers. The wine list features minimal intervention, organic, sustainable and biodynamic varieties.

On the food front, Alannah has created a ‘raw, rotten and loud’ menu which spotlights local producers with a focus on nose-to-tail and root-to-leaf philosophy to reduce waste.

The menu, which is borderline pescetarian, focuses heavily on seasonable vegetables. While use of meats will be minimal, Alannah hopes to use “obscure and forgotten cuts of meat in the interest of using the whole product with zero waste throughout the menu.”

Comprising snacks, small and large plates, highlights from the menu include market fish with an Earp gin infusion, yuzu, pickled chilli and native succulents, alongside Jamon rolled pork served with fermented apple sauerkraut, caramelised rhubarb and a black garlic jus.

Alannah said: “In the Hunter region we have access to beautiful local produce that needs to be championed. Our concept of raw, rotten and loud allows us to really consider the ingredeitns and to explore how to maximise them.

“’Raw’ using the local, fresh and foraged ingredients we have, ‘rotten’ draws heavily on the use of pickling, fermenting and curing in the menu, ‘loud’ is for the colours, flavours and experience we want to leave our guests with.”

The opening of Closed represents a new chapter for Islington, with owner Lindsay Parker embarking on an $8 million investment in the area to develop Islington Village and complement anticipated residential growth.

Doug, who grew up in Islington and started his hospitality journey in a bar nearby, says he is thrilled at the opportunity to be involved in the project.

“The scope of the development inspired me to create something truly distinctive, setting the standard for the venues that will define Islington Village,” he stated.

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