Sshh… Promise Bar is the High Street secret you need to know about

Promise Bar

Tucked behind a coffee shop on High Street in Prahran, and unidentifiable for anything but a neon blue arrow in the direction of the door, Promise Bar is there, waiting for you to discover it.

Promise Bar neon sign

The 7-month old project of Vaughan Marks, Promise Bar is aptly named so because it promises good times and quality drinks, always.

It’s the kind of place only the who’s who of cocktail bartenders would want to work, with the lack of menu and wide range of spirits from all over the country and the world on offer. An exciting thought for the customer; a challenge for the man behind the bar whose skills are put to the test.

Promise Bar inside

With each newcomer to the land of Promise, the bartender’s mission – and he must accept it – is to create any style of cocktail that encompasses the drinker’s very own desires. Sweet or dry? Bitter or sour? Strong or mild? Dark or light? All these and more are options, open to the interpretation of the customer and the interpolation of the bartender whose skill means anything can be turned into a literal ‘box-ticking’ cocktail, worthy of seconds… or thirds.

It’s prohibition bar themed, honing-in on the omission of alcohol from Australians’ needs (yeah, turns out it wasn’t only the Yanks who weren’t allowed a tipple) from around 1910 to 1928. After that, four referendums regarding the prohibition of alcohol were conducted in Western Australia, including one in each of the years 1911, 1921, 1925 and 1950. It obviously didn’t last.

For those who’ve done the cocktail bar rounds of Melbourne, it’s akin to the likes of New Gold Mountain, though with a penchant for skull-based interior decor and a dark, moody, broody atmosphere that makes it oh so Melburnian and oh so ideal for a date, a friendly catch-up or a warm-up before a night out.

Promise Bar cocktails

Look for the neon blue arrow on High Street to find the door.

(Or, for those who prefer less messing around, head to 173 High St, Prahran)

Promise Bar cocktail