Sip Spidey's Margs and Ninja Turtle Negronis at California Lane's new 22-seater, which only takes online bookings.
December 07, 2021
If you're drinking a cocktail named after The Flash, will you feel like sipping it quicker than usual? If you opt for an alcoholic Doctor Strange concoction, will it taste particularly magical? Alongside wondering if you'll start craving pizza while knocking back Ninja Turtle Negronis, these are the questions that California Lane's newest addition inspires. A comic book-inspired bar and eatery will do that.
Meet 1st Edition, the intimate new Fortitude Valley spot that's embracing superheroes and other comic book characters in a big — and boozy — manner. If you thought your caped crusader worship was limited to the page and the screen, think again. Exactly the type of bar that was always bound to open in a world that sees new superhero flicks and series hit cinemas and streaming every month, or thereabouts, it even covers its central benchtop with comic art. Yes, sipping and reading is a thing here, as is sitting under a big Batman mural that peers down over the bar.
A 22-seater that only takes online bookings — so you can't just drop in like Iron Man after saving the world — the venue hails from comic book devotee Marc Grey and chef Steve Maiden (Baja Cantina, Bam Bam Hayman Island). They've created the kind of bar and eatery that you need to actively seek out, thanks to its laneway perch, but that location obviously suits the theming. Batman's base is hidden from the world, after all.
Here, as well as those aforementioned tipples — the Ninja Turtle Negroni includes salami Campari, fittingly — you can sip your way through the Harley Quinn (a dry gin number topped with Persian fairy floss and gold flakes), Spidey's Margs (complete with an agave spin) and the Mysterio (which features butter vodka, peach syrup and a passion smoke bubble). Or, there's the Black Adam Espresso Martini, the Storm's Old Fashioned and The Canary, with the full lineup nodding to names from both Marvel and DC Comics.
Food-wise, as served up in three 90-minute seatings from 5.30pm between Wednesday–Saturday, the menu takes its cues from Asian, Mexican, American and French cuisine. Think: cheeseburger gyoza, spanner crab with burnt butter emulsion, red duck curry and wagyu with bacon bordelaise, with a big emphasis on shareable dishes.
And, from 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights, DJs will hit the decks live in 1st Edition's upper level DJ loft. Presumably, superhero themes will get a spin at some point — so you can dance however a Spider-Man can.