Holy shit. Walking through the double chested Kelvinator fridge doors into the hodge-podge super-industrial, kind of grunge, freaking cool settings of General Store & Co, my eyes didn’t know where to look first. Immediately drawn to the refurbished Shell fuel bowsers hooked up to a keg to serve beers at the bar my attention was then drawn to the ceiling where a giant black and white mural is painted against raw materials and exposed woodwork contrasted by piping.
Looking back towards the doorway there are stairs leading upstairs to a Post Office inspired room with a staircase adorned by Americanised food options in case your pantry is lacking Oreo’s or Reece’s Pieces Buttercups. Or in case you get a hankering for 5 kilos of Nutella on your alcohol-fueled Friday night. On the Media Launch night there was someone getting a haircut out the back but who knows if that’s a legitimate service offering or just shenanigans?
Back downstairs and beyond the first room the venue opens out into a gorgeous terrace that is surprisingly splattered with lots of colour that is non-offending to the eye. Keep and eye out for the Statue of Liberty made up milk crates and pot plants – successfully executed and very imaginative.
The back room is for lounging with a large brown leather sofa contrasted by interesting and quaint brickwork and art, seated across from a sofa converted into a swinging chair (yes, you heard me!). Oh, and who could forget the bathtub-converted fish tank filled with trout (the little suckers were released into their new home before our very eyes!). The fuel bowser makes a second appearance, this time acting as a light.
Upstairs reveals the second bar and this venue just keeps on giving. Taxi doors (yes, real ones) act as the entry and exit points for the bar tenders as they dish out drinks for patrons. General goods such as footwear, shirts and hats are on display and available for purchasing while you wonder over your drink.
My overall impression of General Store & Co is that this place is quirky to the max and if that isn’t enough for you, Wednesday nights here hold a particularly tantalising offer of $2.50 vodkas from 7, going up a dollar every hour to a max price of $5.50. Hell. Yes.
General Store & Co is located at 213 Franklin Street, Melbourne and more information can be found on their website.
Wed – Fri: 3pm – 1am
Sat: 5pm – 3am