House of Correction
An upstairs CBD cocktail bar at the old site of Melbourne's longest-running porn cinema.
With every year that passes Melbourne gains more history — and with every renovation, new stories. But it's not often you dig up the kind of gold that was discovered when putting together the CBD's new bar, House of Correction.
At 264 Swanston Street, lie allusions to a colourful past — as a medical supply store in the early 1900s, a manufacturer of death masks for the Old Melbourne Gaol and, most recently, the home of Australia's longest-running porn cinema, Shaft Cinemas. The renovators even found pornographic silhouettes beneath the layers of paint downstairs. But while the raciest finds have been re-hidden for future tenants to discover, interior architects ZWEI have used others — like the heritage ceiling and concrete slab floor — as the highlights of a very unique space.
Headed up by bartender David Smillie (ex-Eau de Vie Sydney), the 52-seater will be throwing down a monthly rotating cocktail selection, which is built around simplicity, top-notch ingredients and classic styling. Expect plenty of clever extras, too, with house-made shrubs, vinegars, and fermentations popping up throughout. Rounding out the offering is a hefty back bar, solid craft beer lineup.
And though the building's history might be a bit sketchy, its future is looking anything but. House of Correction will be a sister bar to rooftop venue Goldilocks and Mr Kwok downstairs, which has just opened in replacement of Noodle Kingdom. Sad news for fans of the old venue, but this new noodle house is helmed by the old chef's daughter — and food can be ordered up until last drinks at 3am each night of the week.