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Port Melbourne’s Bay Street is soon to be home to a luxury 50s inspired cocktail bar. Clooney Kitchen & Bar takes its inspiration from 50s jazz musicians known for their old Hollywood glamour. The bar’s name is a nod to much-loved jazz musician Rosie Clooney (George Clooney’s aunt).

Europe meets Hollywood at Clooney, for a fun place to grab a drink, meet friends and show-off to out-of-towners. Guests will be served up drinks created by industry experts, Shannon McFarland (The General Assembly, The Rochester and Woodland House) and Will Crennan (ex Gin Palace, Collins Quarter, Brunswick Mess Hall). Head chef Leigh Stanicic will be creating the food menu (ex Melbourne Wine Room and The Fat Duck).

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Expect creative cocktails and craft spirits, including craft gins, Starward whisky, Italian liquors, Scotch tasting trays, a small but considered wine list with French, Italian and Australian varieties, and Italian and local craft beers. Shannon will also be serving his signature house-made infused liqueurs, such as his Apple Tea Liqueur alongside George Clooney’s Casamigos Mezcal Tequila (pictured right).

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Bar snacks will include sophisticated small dishes, snacks paired with cocktails, and a four-course cocktail and food matched degustation created by Shannon and Leigh. The food is full of fresh Asian and European flavours with many raw dishes. Shannon has developed a unique style to his cocktails to match the food, coming from family discussions over exotic ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques with brother Hayden McFarland (Woodland House), along with strong influences from extensive travels to Asia, in particular Japan. Shannon creates his own infusions and macerations with some amazing flavours that contrast to a strong line-up of spirits.

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Clooney will see bartender Will Crennan bring back a real sense of hospitality, connecting with customers to ensure they are served up a drink perfect for their palate. “I knew I wanted a bar to be a place that was more than just ordering a drink. After trying a million variations of the classics over the years this is about serving the best we can, as bartenders should. The ethos is that there should be an abundance of things you have never tried but delivered with the same respect to the classics,” Will explains.

The interior has been created by Darren Kerf of Kerf Designs. Darren has created a beautiful wooden bar with bespoke brass inlays with old worldly liqueur cabinetry that reach the ceiling, complementing the original art deco features. Luxurious plum velvet booths, frivolous wallpapers, crystal goblets and exotic palms all lead patrons into a night of decadence and adventure, whether it’s a quiet romantic drink or a tipple after work. Clooney will pay homage to the Eurocentric Rosie Clooney and bring glamour and grandeur for a swinging good time.

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Clooney Kitchen & Bar
Opening late August
171 Bay Street
Port Melbourne

**Information and Images Courtesy of Clooneys Kitchen & Bar/Zilla and Brook – Deveta Patel
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