This Enmore Road record store bar is selling vinyl whilst slinging craft beer and over 80 types of whisky.
Enmore Road is home to heaps of bars and vintage shops, but none of them have combined booze and retail into a single venue. Until now. Meet Cottonmouth Records, Enmore's new vinyl store, craft beer haven and whisky bar — all neatly wrapped into one.
The duo behind the venue is locals Zach Williams and Erica McLoughlin, who opened the space in early March. Williams was born and bred in the inner west and has spent 15 years working in the music industry. The massive vinyl collection adorning the walls and crates is all his.
"People are shocked when I say I'm selling my collection, but I see it as a revolving door — a chance to buy more and sell to people who will love [these] just as much as I have," he says.
The collection is varied, but has lots of jazz, soul and funk, with a concentration on new and repressed vinyl. It certainly doesn't look like any other record stores around town, either. Speakeasy-style black curtains swish over the entrance and a recycled timber bar is the venue's focal point. While the main bar is quite simple and industrial, the back whisky room is filled with mixed vintage furnishings and mood lighting.
The team takes its 'beer, whisky, vinyl' mantra seriously. The eight regularly changing taps are pouring the likes of Alexandria's Yulli's Brews, Canberra's Capital Brewing and New Zealand's Yeastie Boys. There's also an ever-growing fridge full of tinnies, and more international brews are to come. Also behind the bar is a collection of 80 bottles of whisky — this focuses on scotch but also includes rye, bourbon and local drops.
And what better way to enjoy beer and whisky than with a boilermaker — the venue's specialty. The bar's matched the Dalmore Cigar Malt scotch with a tinnie of Wayward's raspberry berliner weisse, and Tasmania's Hellyers Road single malt with a Gage Roads Single Fin summer ale.
Kowtowing to the cocktail masters at Jacoby's just down the block, Cottonmouth isn't aiming to be your cocktail go-to. "We want to make whisky drinking unpretentious and accessible," says Williams. "We're here to complement our surroundings — not to compete — and we feel a whisky bar enhances the local community."
Instead, the menu has a short list of five whisky-focused signatures, including a whisky sour made with Wild Turkey, Fireball, maple syrup and cinnamon. And, on Sundays, it's slinging $12 Laphroaig Bloody Marys all day.
For eats, the new Enmore Road outpost of Epic Pizza is delivering 12-inch pies for $18.50 a pop, and patrons are also encouraged to BYO any food they fancy.
It's easy to forget that this is a record store, though the venue's love for music extends to a weekly DJ offering on Thursday through Sunday nights, and monthly live acoustic gigs on Saturdays. Thursdays will act as an 'open mic' night of sorts. "With the lockouts, a lot of DJs don't get to cut their teeth anymore like I was able to, so we're giving young guns an artistic platform where they can just show up and play," says Williams.
And, for Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13, the shop is throwing an all-out party, with DJs on from 9am until midnight.
Images: Kitti Gould.