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By Meg Watson
June 05, 2014
By Meg Watson
June 05, 2014

Smith Street is a constantly evolving entity. From grungy pub times to classy dinners at hip dining rooms to all-in brawls over gelato — it's one of those uber-gentrified areas that makes cynics roll their eyes and excitable hipsters rub their hands together in feverish anticipation. Now that evolution seems to have reached tipping point.

The Underground Experiment, the latest addition to Collingwood's small suburban metropolis, opens next week as an experimental cocktail bar with a constantly changing theme. Riding the turbulent wave of global cocktail trends, the first form this bar takes is a strangely alluring mixture of '80s flamboyancy and Prohibition cool. The drinks are odd and outlandish, the tunes are strictly '80s or '90s, and the crowd is sure to be a little confused — but we feel like we need to go there immediately.

In the bar's first form, the cocktail list is characterised by old classics with unexpected twists. The much-loved Sex on the Beach is accompanied by edible sand and Chambord caviar — what even? There's a Pina Colada, a Fluffy Duck, and a Blue Lagoon featuring "a swimming fish". Do they mean a live fish?! Who knows. I'm willing to give in to the magic of it and drink some dirty fish water if you are.

The team behind this mayhem are Daniel and Kristin Lemura — the same people who launched The Noble Experiment Prohibition-style bar and restaurant just six weeks ago. This latest project sees them utilising the bar's downstairs space. The Underground Experiment is just that, really — a basement space with big and exciting plans.

Whatever new themes and trends that are to follow, you can tell the bar's going to be a whole lot of fun. Where you might expect experimental cocktail bars to serve you whiskey in the form of a hand lotion or vodka as a flash of light, this one embraces the novelty of it all and slings you a fishbowl with a rubber ducky instead.

The Underground Experiment is at 284 Smith Street, Collingwood and will open Friday and Saturday evenings from June 13.

Published on June 05, 2014 by Meg Watson


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