Like a cross between Deadwood and True Blood, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall will have whiskey and Americana running through your veins by the time you leave.
Inside the cavernous building that used to belong to gentleman’s club The Velvet Cigar, you can now find a portal to an entirely different place and time. The first strains of county and rockabilly music will reach you as you pass through the first set of doors, and by the time you’re really inside, you’ll have well and truly forgotten that you just came from Caxton Street, Brisbane.
Lefty’s could not stand in starker contrast to its footy-focused location. Instead of television screens and Broncos jerseys, it’s all about whiskey shots and Johnny Cash. Musicians channelling old-time, rollicking country regularly occupy the ground level stage (to the delight of quick-footed rock’n’roll dancers) and up on the mezzanine level you can pay a visit to the whiskey bar before pulling up a seat and taking in the atmosphere.
One of the brains behind the creation of Lefty’s is Jamie Webb of Peasant and Cabiria, a man who clearly understands the importance of good lighting. Candles, chandeliers and small lamps work with the polished wooden furnishings and red colour theme to create warmth and ambience. Taxidermy is also a feature, with moose heads, birds, bears watching over the room, and a baboon holding court on the stage.
Having found such a good time, you won’t want to leave any time soon. That’s okay, because the kitchen is open until 3am, so there’s no need to head out into the big bad world for sustenance. Try the po’ boys: the bread is crusty, the salad is fresh and the blackened catfish option is a little taste of New Orleans. They’re all served with a pile of shoestring fries and mini Tabasco bottles – a bargain for $13.00. Other snacks on the menu include onion rings ($6.00), popcorn shrimp ($12.00) and mini corndogs ($9.00).
When you burst back out onto Caxton Street at the end of the night, you’ll wonder if it was all a dream. But don’t worry; you can do it all again next week.