On an otherwise quiet spot on Aberdeen Street is where you’ll find Gin & Co., Geelong’s newest night-time establishment. Iridescent lighting and handpicked vintage furnishings help Gin & Co. achieve an atmosphere of both old-world aristocracy and a 1920s speakeasy. The Supper Club combines a late-night bar with a dining venue that caters until midnight and offers sweet and savory sharing foods, each priced at eight dollars.
Previously trading as Irish Murphy’s, Gin & Co. has undergone an extensive transformation under the guise of local Geelong sisters, Hannah and Victoria, and their family. At twenty-one and twenty-three years of age, the ladies have created a timelessness typified by several of Melbourne’s late-night establishments that line Spring and Collins Streets. The renovations took full flight a year ago when Hannah decided to re-stain the bar. “It’s a nice, dark mahogany now, but it took so long, about three weeks in total. We just decided afterwards that ‘Hey, we have to really do this now!’” says Hannah.
The lounge and bar opened three weeks ago, yet still isn’t quite finished as the girls consider Gin &Co. their work in progress and say they will continue to add unique and quirky pieces along the way. Hannah and Victoria offer Gin & Co. as ‘a place to go after dinner and before a nightclub’. “It’s a place you can go to relax and have a good drink. It’s all about late nights, people celebrating, and for people in the industry of hospitality or finishing a show, there’s now a place you can grab a late night drink and a snack,” says Victoria.
They’ve started with a small team of family members that the girls will expand with the clientele. Electro-swing, a fusion of swing and 1920s jazz with contemporary beats, echoes through the old building, her charm and character strengthened by the renovations. The girls tell me the music has been a hit, with patrons often asking for artist names and Shazam-ing.
In addition to this all-hours entertainment, Gin & Co. host a classic movie night on Tuesdays, when half the bar is converted into a comfortable cinematic experiencing, rivaling Gold Class in food, drink and service. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Breakfast at Tiffany’s have been hits so far, while the size and layout of Gin & Co. allows for patrons to continue drinking and chatting the night away in several corners of the building during the viewings.
Opening hours are 4 p.m. until late Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with drinks served until midnight, and 4 p.m. until later Fridays and Saturdays, with drinks available until 1 a.m. Gin & Co. serve an extensive range of spirits and liqueurs, with a small but sophisticated wine list that includes a brilliant local Pinot Gris by Brown Magpie, a drop I couldn’t resist on my first visit to the supper club. Several beers are on tap at Gin & Co., setting them apart from many of Melbourne’s similar establishments, and cocktails are the main focus, with some personal twists on old favourites.
Then comes the food at Gin & Co., the simple homemade selections complement the bold drinks. Small sausage rolls, honey tarragon meatballs and mushroom and pea arancini are handcrafted by Hannah and Victoria’s mum, amongst several other fineries, in the large kitchen. Fries are brought to life with wasabi mayo and the portions are perfect for a small snack or can be ordered together to make a meal.
After a brilliant few weeks in Geelong, Gin & Co.’s opening will be marked by a Grand Opening Party on May 22. Following this, the girls will begin to incorporate more specialty nights, such as burlesque.
In the meantime, grab a drink or a small bite to eat from the sisters and be seduced by the elegance of yesteryear. Check out ginandco.com.au for menus, contacts details and further information.
Words and photos by Danielle Shaw