Cult-Favourite Hospo Duo BABS Is Opening a Pop-Up Neighbourhood Bar and Restaurant in the Old Saga Space

Enmore is set to score a new limited-time venue, which the owners describe as "a love letter to the Inner West".
Ben Hansen
Published on September 05, 2023

Following eight mighty culinary pop-ups in locations like Newtown, Marrickville and Melbourne, acclaimed hospitality duo BABS is taking over a beloved space on Enmore Road for their first longer-term venue. Led by Head Chef Ellie Hayes O'Brien and Restaurant Manager Bec Shave, BABS has built a cult following over the last 18 months through a series of long lunches and dinners, all celebrating women in the hospo industry via top-notch eats and drinks.

The name BABS is double-pronged — standing for Bad Ass Bitches, and paying homage to the patron saint of said badasses, Barbra Streisand. This is the energy that O'Brien and Shave are taking into their new short-term home on Enmore Road, opening a BABS neighbourhood bar and restaurant for three months in Saga's former digs.

Lily Austin

Opening on Thursday, September 14, the short and sweet stay will bring the usual female-led vision of BABS previous pop-ups to 178 Enmore Road — with a Euro-focused menu featuring pickled sardines, chicken liver gougeres, handmade pasta, and playful sweets like champagne jelly and sticky flans.

Drinks-wise, expect a robust wine list with two-sip martinis, amaro and negronis, plus special attention paid to female vino-makers.

Chris Pearce

Tying the whole operation together will be vintage pink crockery reminiscent of your grandma's house and handprinted linocut menus made by the head of design at BABS, Eva Balog.

Both O'Brien and Shave are hospo lifers and Inner West locals, with the pair deciding to channel their love for food, booze and good times into something special following the lockdowns — and after nearly two years of experimentation, they've arrived at BABS' first standalone venue and one that they describe as "a love letter to the Inner West".

The limited-time bar and restaurant will be open from 5pm Thursday–Saturday and for lunch on Sundays throughout spring. It will be a walk-in-only affair, meaning you'll be able to saunter down to Enmore Road for a glass of wine and a few memorable snacks whenever the inspiration hits.

BABS will open at 178 Enmore Road, Enmore for three months from Thursday, September 14 — operating from 5pm–late Thursday–Saturday and lunch on Sunday.

Top images: Lily Austin.

Published on September 05, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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