Rumours: Bellabar – Rydges: Lakeside

by The Editor

Over recent weeks, limited information has been seeping out regarding a new venue at Rydges Lakeside in the long-dormant space previously occupied by Bobby McGee’s. For those too young to remember, Bobby McGee’s was (not to put too fine a point on it) a place where hospitality staff would go in order to fuck each other. On Friday afternoons it was the corporate types deploying the same behaviour. We could only wonder at what the new venue might have in store.

The recent promotion around an opening party featured by outincanberra takes a different tone altogether. Gone are the ‘dollar drinks’ – another glorious remnant of the 90’s – which greatly encouraged much of the spirited behaviour previously mentioned, and instead we get a flyer featuring a headless man in a suit being fondled by a sultry, perhaps horny, femme-fatale-type. For the veterans of Bobby McGee’s you’ll know what that scene looks like five hours later.

So, apparently the tone is all dark lights, sophistication and table service. While hotel bars have a mixed history in Canberra, such a venue could act to fill the yawning chasm in the market since the tragic loss of Parlour. There’s still a few months to go until New Acton has Canberra’s premier bar back open for business, so perhaps Bellabar will act as a reminder of what once was while adding some gravity to the more mature end of the market in the precinct.

Either that, or bring back Dollar Drinks.

The invitation only ‘opening party’ (known in the industry as a ‘systems check’) is tonight. The bar opens to the public next Friday. We’ll be sure to report back.