Four Black Pearl alumni will open a new bar called ‘Fancy Free’ in the Melbourne CBD later this year.
Sharing over 50 years of industry experience between them, Rob Libecans, Chris Hysted-Adams, Matthew Stirling and Ryan Noreiks are keeping the concept for their new bar simple: a neigbourhood bar, but in the middle of the CBD – “where everything is delicious, and everyone is welcome.”
“We have been working towards this point since we met,” says Hysted-Adams. “It’s always been our dream to open a bar and now the time is right for all of us to do it together. Kind of like the Avengers, but with drinks.”
While the four all met at Black Pearl, it’s been some time since they’ve worked together. Stirling and Hysted-Adams have been at the helm of Black Pearl, helping to guide the bar to great international success – most recently taking out Best International Cocktail Bar at the prestigious New Orleans Spirited Awards.
Libecans was a driving force at groundbreaking London venue White Lyan, before taking on a trade advocacy role with Bacardi in the UK, while Noreiks headed up the Lark in Brisbane for five years and is now working at Romeo Lane in Melbourne.
Before launching the new bar, the team will be showcasing their skills over the next two months at teaser events across the country, with collaborators at Dark Mofo (TAS), Mary’s (NSW), Saville Row (QLD), and Ramblr (VIC).
In addition to these new ventures, the team have also established a drinks agency, ‘Seven Ounces’, which focuses on corporate events, creative activation solutions and drinks consultancy.