Blue Venus, a cocktail bar founded by Real Falafel’s Chef Mitch and headed up by bartender Marco Puglia, is now serving Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails on Gilbert Place.
Cocktail bar Blue Venus is now open
Heading north off Currie Street down Gilbert Place, neon lighting from the windows of Blue Venus beckons thirsty patrons upstairs.
The bar was first announced via CityMag in January this year, with Chef Mitch from Real Falafel and bartender Marco Puglia flagging a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern focus for the bar.
““It will be more fun to introduce that amazing flavour of Middle East, like pomegranate, like Turkish Delight cocktails, and all those flavours,” Mitch told us at the time.
Blue Venus opened last weekend, and Marco says Saturday night trade saw the bar full.
“I am surprised,” Marco says, “because I knew we were going to get busy on Saturday, but I didn’t know we were going to get that busy, because it’s the first week.”
“I actually had numerous customers who came in at six o’clock, left for dinner, and then came back.”
The Blue Venus cocktail list is all about balance, Marco says. Rather than knocking people over with a crazy amount of alcohol, his drinks “keep it simple” by concentrating on “fresh ingredients rather than the liquor.”
Marco hopes that through his cocktail menu he will be able to help transport people back to happier and more carefree times.
“I want them to have the best experience they had in their life,” he says.
“I want to take them back into a holiday they had, whatever holiday you had in the Mediterranean, or wherever it is, anywhere tropical, [it’s] hot, you had a drink – I want to bring them back to that place.”
The cocktail menu is split into specialty cocktails (mostly around $20, but with one $50 option), spritzes (all $14), mocktails ($12), and a short selection of beers ($10), and there are wine options too.
The bar was not built with classic cocktails in mind, but if someone comes in asking for an Old Fashioned or a Negroni, Marco says he’ll happily make it. He does hope those who visit Blue Venus, though, will come ready to explore the curated menu.
CityMag is served a Delight My Rose, which riffs on the flavours of Turkish delight and achieves intense flavour without becoming too sweet.
The Spice My Venus is a refreshed take on a Cool Breeze.
“It’s cucumber, I put red chilli on it, and a sprig of rosemary as well,” Marco says.
“The combination of the freshness of the cucumber and lime, plus with the extra chilli, it takes it to the next level. Your palate goes crazy with it.”
As the venue settles, there will be events and happening scheduled within the space. And Mitch tells us the venue is available for hire for no charge, so long as the hire includes food and drinks from Blue Venus.
Blue Venus is located at level 1, 20 Gilbert Place and opens seven days a week 5pm ‘til late.