When a new business venture is described as the “virtuous mistress” to an existing restaurant, you can be assured that something special is about to shake and stir its way onto Launceston’s hospitality scene.
That is definitely the case for the city’s classy new cocktail bar, Bar Stelo, which opened its George St doors to the public October 21st.
Bar Stelo is a new venture for Lauren and Nathan Johnston, who have spent the past two years developing the widely-respected Stelo at Pierre’s offering. Now they have transformed an adjoining retail space into a classy cocktail lounge.
As with Stelo at Pierre’s, Bar Stelo will feature the finest local produce through an Italian lens and will further enhance Launceston’s reputation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
“From bold and boozy to light and luxurious, there will be an extensive array of cocktails on offer, providing a perfect pre-dinner location for anyone dining in the CBD,” Lauren said.
“There will be familiar faces from Stelo at Pierre’s in the bar. As well as bar manager Janna Connell, providing un-compromised quality in all her offerings, serving serious cocktails, bar snacks and our stunning local gins, whisky and wine.”
When you step inside Bar Stelo you will be greeted by an elegant space with a custom, curved Italian Marble bar centrepiece, offset with Tasmanian Oak timber finishes, brass and marble features and beautiful black leather seating.
“We have been referring to Bar Stelo as the restaurant’s ‘virtuous mistress’ because while it provides some synergies there are some wonderful contrasts,” Lauren said.
“The restaurant is quite masculine with its linear, straight lines and deep red features where as Bar Stelo involves a lot of circles and curves and beautiful Boston Green paintwork on the walls that highlight the feminine and evocative art works by emerging Hobart artist Eddie James.”
The bar has been designed by Stelo at Pierre’s founding bar manager and architect Justin LeFevere, which ensures that every aspect of bar operation and functionality has been considered in the design.
The capacity at Bar Stelo invites 36 patrons inside with an alfresco area on George St.
A private booth will be a popular place for friends to gather and celebrate, with a number of intimate tables, bar stools and standing areas to be serviced by specially trained bar staff.
“You can speak with the bartenders and have that tailored engagement but we will also provide table service which is a lovely, personal touch and point of difference so that our guests don’t need to interrupt their conversations to get up and go to the bar to order another drink ,” Lauren said.