The Cumberland, an underground speakeasy, is to launch in the Sydney suburb of Manly this August. Access to the prohibition inspired drinking den with a Spanish twist will be via an inconspicuous 1920s fridge door. On the other side, a spiral staircase will be revealed, guiding patrons into a basement bar.
Named after the Parish of Manly Cove in the County of Cumberland, the bar is a nod to the history of the now Northern Beaches council area on which the venue stands.
Ornate and vintage furnishings, including marble bench tops, hand carved sandstone blocks, original convict clay brickwork, reclaimed timber and a series of antique brass and copper accents will transport guests to another time and place. Behind the bar is a set of original 1902 brass beer taps. The 70-seater venue will also feature a handmade leather banquet.
The drinks list will offer an extensive selection of more than 250 whiskies from around the globe, while the signature cocktails will pay homage to classic techniques and local botanicals. The menu will also showcase a range of boutique and organic wines from growers across Australia and a selection of local and European craft beers.
The food menu will include slow cooked pork rillettes pâté, baked camembert, and a plate of melted raclette, with a vintage, custom dumbwaiter to deliver boards of Spanish cured meats and cheese between floors.
The venue has been designed by AZB Creative and conceptualised by owner, Matt Clifton, managing director of MJC Group of Companies, which also operates fellow Manly venues, Donny’s and In Situ. General manager Peter Ehemann is on board after more than 12 years at Merivale venues Ivy, Hemmesphere, Level 6 and Coogee Pavilion.
“I wanted to bring to life the physical journey of a speakeasy while also paying homage to the bygone era of the Manly area,” says Clifton. “We want to take people on a bar experience with a difference, showing them a snippet of a different time and bringing a sense of surprise and fun back to a night out.”
More details on the location and launch to come.