Marrickville's Poor Toms gin distillery has been turning out one of the best locally made spirits since 2015 — it's so good, in fact, that they crowdfunded over $25,000 in one day to make the stuff. Now, after three years of operation, owners Griffin Blumer and Jesse Kennedy are finally ready to share their distillery with the inner west masses. The mates have just opened the doors of their Chalder Avenue gin hall to the public.
Located just around the corner from Sauce Brewing and the soon-to-be-open Stockade, as well as a quick walk from Batch, Grifter and Wildflower, the gin hall is nicely situated within the suburb's craft booze haven. All this beer in one vicinity creates an opening for another alcoholic option, and Poor Toms is ready to oblige.
"We wanted the bar to be an oasis of sorts," says Blumer. "Marrickville is very industrial and noisy with no trees, so we imagined it would be really nice to have a lush oasis to sort of step into off the dusty concrete streets. It's got this church-in-the-middle-of-the-desert kind of thing going [on]."
This vibe has been realised with tons of hanging plants, each in custom-made pots, and a chapel-like archway that towers over the back bar and lights the booze on offer. The bar itself is custom-built and marble-topped, and the tables and chairs were also built from scratch. Neighbour Jack Dunbar teamed up with friend Grant Wallwork on the design and it's simple, yet inviting.
"All the tables are at bar height, so everything is on this one plane," says Blumer. These give more of a communal feel to the space — there'll be no hiding in the shadows here.
The drinks will of course centre on Poor Toms and each gin will have its own signature cocktail. As of next week, this list will rotate weekly in an effort to keep locals coming back for more — think negronis with house-made Amaro, strawberry creaming soda with dry gin and Lillet Blanc, or the Stoned Last Words with green chartreuse plum and Vietnamese mint. The bar will also sell gin hall exclusives for takeaway, like the Old Tom, sweetened by strawberry, cardamom, hibiscus and ginger.
For food, the bar's joined forces with nearby Pizza Madre for delivery on Fridays and Saturdays and, for now, will offer sausage sizzles on Sundays.