Maho Magic Bar
A Shinjuku-inspired bar and a performance space in one, this neon-lit venue pairs sake cocktails and shōchū with magic shows at your table.
May 20, 2022
Japan might be slowly reopening to Australian tourists, but you can pretend you're hanging out in Shinjuku right now just by heading to the Gold Coast. Meet Maho Magic Bar, which is a bar, a performance space and a show all in one — all thanks to Broad Encounters, aka the folks behind that eerie Edgar Allen Poe-inspired warehouse experience A Midnight Visit that creeped out Brisbane in 2021.
Here, neon lighting sets the mood, cherry blossoms hover above, and sake cocktails and shōchū lead the drinks menu. Also, magic shows happen at your table. An immersive event from the moment that you approach its glowing exterior — which is blazing away at Spielgeltent Gold Coast at Southport until Sunday, July 3 — it's designed to replicate a night out in Tokyo, and conjure up an 'anything can happen' feeling.
The ace thing about the setup: whether you adore magic or don't think it's your thing, you'll still be entertained given the atmosphere (and the drinks and those lights) are a massive part of the allure. Still, magic is nonetheless a big part of it. Busting out illusions: Osaka's Shohgo Yamashita, the gender stereotype-busting Kaori Kitazawa, close-up magician Sarito and the bearded Jonio, plus Johnny Balance from Melbourne.
Drinks-wise, beer, wine and booze-free options are also on offer — and umeshu and soda, too.
Maho Magic Bar is open Tuesday–Sunday evenings, and puts on family-friendly performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Images: Kate Prendergast, Trentino Priori and Nathanial Mason. Updated May 31.