House of Correction
Level 4, 234 Swanston Street, Melbourne
With a name like House of Correction, this brand-new Melbourne cocktail bar is sure to be hiding some deep dark secrets. Sitting four levels above Swanston Street, sandwiched between Goldilocks Rooftop Bar and Mr Kwok, it’s a drinking den that welcomes the ‘not quite mad, not quite bad, but quite possibly a little dangerous to know.’
The CBD bar is the latest from the Next Week Group, which also own Goldilocks upstairs and Mr Kwok downstairs. In their latest offering, the team has taken inspiration from the larger building’s colourful past. When renovations started downstairs, the sins of former tenant – Shaft Cinemas – came to the fore. The paint was peeled back from the walls, uncovering explicit pornographic silhouettes – an insight into the longest running porn cinema in Australia.
Digging deeper revealed an even more suspicious past. In 1889, the building housed a medical supplier whose ‘supplies’ included human skeletons. This sat adjacent to the local Chinese firecracker business, making for one interesting combination.
The Next Week Group took this all into consideration, creating a bar that celebrated its salubrious history through smart design and an excellent drink offering. The team recruited ZWEI Architects to transform the space, preserving the ageing ceiling and concrete slab floor but introducing custom-made fittings, lighting and signage. The result is an aesthetic that hints at the building’s dark past without crossing into the themed bar realm.
When it comes to drinks, the Next Week team turned to on of the best in the business: David Smillie, of Eau de Vie Sydney. He’s designed a cocktail list that rotates monthly, keeping you creeping back for more. Numbered, not named, the cocktails will be simple but considered, with the highest quality ingredients used. David and the team have invested in creating their own vinegars, syrups, shrubs and fermentations to ensure every concoction is a unique one. In addition to the cocktails, the drinks menu includes an extensive back bar, bottled and tap beer selection and a concise wine offering.
Downstairs eatery Mr Kwok will keep late-night cocktail drinkers fed into the early hours of the morning, with food on offer until 3:30am Sunday to Thursday, and 5am Friday to Saturday.
Intriguing, sketchy and down right mischievous, House of Correction is bound to bring out the weird, wacky and wonderful in everyone.