Hidden behind a secret doorway, Aloha Sailor is a rum soaked pop-up in Melbourne’s Collingwood.
The new tiki bar is bringing the legacy of the founder of Tiki, Donn Beach, to Smith St, opening up in the basement of The Noble Experiment. However, despite the focus on smoking drinks, skull walls and treasure chests, the founders say that it will lack the kitsch some may expect. Instead the team has gone for a polished look with a bit of “fun and adventure thrown in”.
The project is a collaboration between Linus Schaxmann and Kristin and Daniel Lemura, with the support of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum. The space will reference the first-known Tiki bar, Don Beachcomber which opened in LA in 1934, while serving barrel-aged liquors and eight Tiki-inspired cocktails that feature a variety of homemade ingredients – and served in smoking treasure chests and skulls, among other things, for a touch of tiki theatre. Examples include The Suffering Bastard – barrel-aged Beefeater gin, Appleton V/X&VSOP brandy, falernum, citrus house-made bitter, and ginger beer with a hint of Chartreuse.
Schaxmann says that creating an experience for drinkers is important, and no drinking experience is as theatrical, fun and memorable as Tiki.
“We didn’t just want to want to open a bar that served drinks” he says. “We wanted to open a bar that created a unique, memorable drinking experience and for that, we had to build a tiki bar.”
The bar itself features tables and a bar that have been worked in timber by part owner, Daniel Lemura. He is also responsible for the single nod to kitsch in the venue: the skull wall. Apparently a reference to the bone filled catacombs beneath the footpaths of Paris.
The food menu has been developed by chef Cameron Bell to reference modern tiki ideas, such as taro fries with jungle mayo, chicken wings with four chili, and crispy roast suckling pig with steamed bread, spring onion and shallot sauce, fresh coriander.
As part of their service, patrons can book a booth for an entire evening for the sum of $100, which includes a treasure chest filled with five litres of Tiki Cocktail.