All that Glitters: The Alchemy Bar
by The Editor
Like a phoenix rising (no, not that one) one of Canberra’s longest running bar venues has debuted with the aim of returning to the glory days of Franklin Street. We popped in to the grand opening on a dreary Wednesday night to see what was offer at the new kid on Canberra’s glitziest block.
The Alchemy Bar is in the space previously occupied by Minque and (for the stalwarts) La Grange near the pedestrian crossing in Manuka – and not one without its challenges.
New owner Oktay Imrak has gone a long way to provide a new feel for the venue following a couple of failed endeavours known as Legends (an extension of the Spanish Restaurant) and Cabinet. While the layout will be familiar to those who have visited the previous iterations of the bar (sobriety dependent), Mr Imrik has put a huge amount of effort into surfaces, furnishings and lighting around the space to brig a very modern feel.
Alchemy isn’t shy when it comes to food, either. There’s a hatted chef in the kitchen, Joshua Sargent (previously at Flint in the Vines in Murrumbateman) has thrown the proverbial sink at this side of the operation. On weekends you can head in for breakfast, lunch and dinner with menus that are limited but very focussed. The bar will accomodate punters throughout the day – moving from juices to coffees to wine then to cocktails. Hang around long enough and you’ll find DJs operating into the late (early?) hours.
The simple idea is that whenever you head in to The Alchemy Bar there should be something to your liking on offer. We’ve warned of venues attempting to be all things to all people – that sharp focus (such as that displayed on Alchemy’s menu) is key to a successful venue. On this occassion there is a difference: The Alchemy Bar has opened on the premise each aspect is on a solid basis with quality product. In 12 months time we may find Alchemy is a cafe more than a bar, a bar more than a cafe or a nightclub more than anything else. Perhaps we are wrong – The Alchemy Bar will display the Midas touch and become a true all-day venue.
Whatever the result, there is no excuse not to go and check it out in the weeks to come. Let us know what you treasures you find in the comments.
The Alchemy Bar
17 Franklin Street