All good bars should come with good secrets — cocktail recipes, ghosts, tip jar protocols. But not every bar comes with a secret bar, like Matthew Bax's brand new teeny, tiny 14-seater watering hole, Bar Exuberante — a secret, windowless cubby hole at the back of his rustic Richmond rum joint, Bar Economico.
The brand new bar is apparently based on a made-up, colonial-era Latino hotel bar, the extravagant Imperial Exuberante Palace Hotel — which straight-up sounds like a Wes Anderson invention. Think the grand hotels of Old Havana in the 1960s, where businesspeople attended fancy gala dinners in the hotel ballroom, where wealthy cruise ship passengers shook off their sea legs with champagne crustas. All out the back of Economico.
Bax's renowned cocktail skills have leaked into this brand new little gem, with modern, nitrogen-fuelled spins on rum cocktails, and hot/cold pina coladas. Nibbles include 'Senor Bax's Famous Cocktail Savoury Snacks'. You can't book a table, you just have to turn up and be lucky enough to nab one of the 14 seats.
Find Bar Exuberante out the back of Bar Economico at 438 Church Street, Richmond. Open Tue-Thu 6pm-midnight; Fri-Sat 6pm-1am.