Four of Melbourne’s top bartenders plan to open new venue “Fancy Free” this year

Four bartenders who have been instrumental to the rise of Melbourne’s highly regarded Black Pearl will open a new venue in the CBD later this year. Rob Libecans, Chris Hysted-Adams, Matthew Stirling and Ryan Noreiks will lead the charge at Fancy Free, helping shape the bar as a neighbourhood watering hole in the middle of the CBD where cocktails, wine, beer and food will all be held to an equally high standard.

“We have been working towards this point since we met”, said Hysted-Adams. “It’s always been our dream to open a bar and now the time is right for all of us to do it together. Kind of like the Avengers, but with drinks”.

The four highly experienced bartenders, who have 50 years of experience between them, first met at Black Pearl and have since individually made their marks on Melbourne’s famous bar scene. They guided Black Pearl to a recent win at the prestigious New Orleans’ Spirited Awards, taking out Best International Cocktail Bar, so it’s no surprise that Fancy Free has quickly shot to the top of “most anticipated” lists around the city,

While an exact date for the opening of Fancy Free has not yet been set, the team are busy skipping across the country to workshop ideas with a few collaborators – Dark Mofo in Tassie, Mary’s in Sydney, Saville Row in Queensland, and Ramblr in Victoria – and bounce around ideas for the new bar. Undoubtedly they new drinks agency that they collectively founded to focus on corporate events and consultancy, titled Seven Ounces, will play a big part in their story this year.

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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