So, last night my friend S picked me up in a cab and we made our way to the middle of Hunter Street to the opening of Newcastle's newest small bar - Terrace Bar. We were both a wee bit excited, being fans of innovation and Newy. It didn't disappoint.
Now the bar's stood vacant for years, there were skip-loads of rubbish removed, but what I love is that the team have stripped back the place to a fabulously raw state - with layers of old paint revealed on the walls. Then they've simply decorated over the top.
Retro-kitcsh-chic paintings adorn the walls, while cosy, conversational nooks are set up with a quirky mix of vintage armchairs or higher bars and stools. It's a place that breeds conversation.
I like that in a place.
The bar's filled with local wines, plenty of cider and some great beers. My friend and I started with a delish Tamburlaine sparkling wine, before we took it upon ourselves to drink the bar dry of tonic with our vodka tonic habits.
Someone had to do it.
This hallstand with a simple floral arrangement was one of my fave pieces. It stands opposite the doors as you enter and really helps set the scene. Candles in old jars continue to create ambiance.
Up the blackened stairs is the performance area, with the roof terrace just off it. Ah, memories, the roof terrace has barely changed since the old Gunfighter's Rest days. Even the furniture's original - just with a coat of sealer to help preserve their knocked-around fabulousness. They've done a bit of landscaping out here, there's trellis to grow vines and strings of fairy lights. It'll be THE coveted hotspot in summer.
Cheers to the proprietor Chris Hearn, Emma from Emma Soup next door who lent her sharp decorating eye, Renew Newcastle who helped get things moving through council to help get it off the ground and all the cool peeps who helped fundraise over $7000 on Pozible to get this venture happening. There's life spreading down Hunter Street, bringing with it enthusiasm, optimism - and hopefully more cool venues like this.
Why wouldn't you raise a glass to this?