What do you get when you cross a wine bar with a pub and slot it into a cosy shopfront on Johnston Street? Well, for Chris Wright and Jonathan Reisacher, the result looks a lot like their new Collingwood venture, Gum — a glam 70s-themed boozer heroing hot pies, tap brews and vintage cocktails.
It's the first foray into hospitality for these two best mates, though, as music industry veterans, they're confident they've frequented enough bars in their time to know what works. Here, the winning formula involves a nostalgic 70s rock-chic fit-out by Brunswick designer Bianca Sciuto, imagined with the help of retro wallpaper prints, orange laminate table tops and plenty of curves.
Yet more Aussie nostalgia shines through the food offering, which runs to a simple lineup of pies from Footscray's Pie Thief — expect varieties like the Big Mac pie and a vegan spaghetti bolognese number — plus sausage rolls and a classic vanilla slice. Eat them in, or grab a takeaway pack to-go.
Meanwhile, the drinks list serves up a tight, but diverse array of sips, featuring mostly Aussie wines and a range of around 20 craft tins from favourites like Fixation, 3 Ravens, Kaiju and Stomping Ground. A cocktail offering is full of flashbacks — think, banana cream daiquiris and a riff on the mai tai — alongside new-school creations like the vodka-infused Grapple starring green tea and apple boba. And if summer's got you feeling extra thirsty, there's a trio of shared cocktail jugs for $45, including The Aperoyal with its blend of prosecco, Aperol and rosé apple cider.
Gum is also keen to help pack out your activities calendar, with local DJs now playing every Thursday to Saturday night and regular trivia sessions, games nights and Sunday barbecue parties also in the works.
Images: Rubin Utama