Meet Noir – Paddington’s new low-key home of wine and charcuterie
Although the realms of wine and coffee are like night and day, both are incredibly nuanced and foster the same kind of ardent fandom. Having already conquered sunrise service, the team behind Paddington coffee dispenser Blackout is now making the jump to sunset sips with its new wine bar Noir. Bringing the same cheery energy and sensational service regulars receive at its sibling caffeinery, this tipple temple is looking to become a similarly appreciated nighttime community hangout. Though the latest lockdown has pushed back the official launch of this drinking spot, the crew has kindly given us a peek inside. Read on to find out what’s in store when Noir opens to the public soon …
For locals of Paddington, pint-sized coffee spot Blackout has been a hero of the pandemic lockdown. The grab-and-go dispensary had been operating for less than six months before COVID-19 came and shook everything up, but amongst all of the turmoil it remained a beloved constant. Eli Rami and Sam Holman – the brains trust behind Blackout, cafe supplier The Milkmen and its umbrella organisation The Black Lab Coffee Co. – worked at the hole-in-the-wall joint for 100 days straight, turning it into a jitter-juice juggernaut and community linchpin. Even before Blackout officially opened, locals were enquiring about the project, with many expressing hope that it would become a wine bar. Although a novice when it came to after-dark hospitality (especially wine), the idea of opening a simple sippery that catered to oenophiles much like Blackout serviced coffee fiends resonated with Eli. The opportunity to turn idea into reality didn’t manifest until early 2021 when Eli spied a pretty and, more importantly, vacant space on Given Terrace. The site, formerly home to fashion boutique Maiocchi, is a heritage marvel that offered the perfect canvas to create something from scratch. Eli pitched his idea to Sam and soon the two embarked on the process that would result in Paddington’s newest wine bar, Noir. Although its name (which aligns thematically with Sam and Eli’s other ventures) alludes to shadowy minimalism, the interior is considerably warmer, thanks to a material palette of light timber and white brick. The elegant venue (designed by Sam) is divided into four key areas – the newly constructed bar at the street-facing entry, an upstairs mezzanine lounge space, a cosy nook downstairs (which is where you’ll also spy Noir’s 600-bottle cellar) and an alfresco area in the alley.
The atmosphere at Noir is purposefully laid back, with a kind of genial vibe akin to Blackout. This approach is key, according to Eli, who has centred the endeavour around recreating the same experience he and Sam nailed at their coffee spot up the road – a good product elevated by exceptional service, two criteria that are key to any successful hospitality concept. Venue manager Eli Smith has made the jump from Blackout to Noir, helping create a sense of continuity and familiarity for loyal locals. Speaking of the product, Eli and Sam are charmingly self-effacing when it comes to their lack of wine knowledge, but they’ve deftly counterbalanced this deficiency by enlisting the help of seasoned, wine-savvy professionals to run point on Noir’s array of drinks. Shanon Simpson from Embassy Cellars was recruited to help lay the foundations of the wine list, which was then completed with assistance from Noir’s own sommelier John Little. Noir’s selection encompasses everything from new-wave wines to beloved classics, with the entire range constantly in flux. The offering is divided into three tiers – On The Wall drops are wines showcased directly behind the bar (available by the glass and bottle) offering something from most categories, while the Off The Wall curation refers to vino available from the collection (many served by the glass via Coravin). Noir’s Cellar selection is home to top-tier wines, such as burgundies and barolos, that are for high-rollers looking to make a splash. Two beers are available on tap alongside a short list of spirits and signature cocktails. Noir’s array of nosh encompasses nibbles, charcuterie and cheese from local suppliers such as Saison Salumi and Fino Foods. The likes of fresh sourdough baguettes from Indie Treats, Olasgasti anchovies and duck-and-cherry pate make for terrific starters, while platters piled with ribbons of squid ink and truffle salumi, capocollo with smoked-garlic sauerkraut (served with gluten-free crackers from G-Rated Foods), and creamy slabs of Berry’s Creek oak blue cheese can capably feed a crew. Noir’s cellar nook will be used to host wine classes, while the crew is eyeing off Sundays for sunny champagne and caviar afternoon services.
Noir will hopefully open this weekend once Brisbane’s lockdown period ends. Keep your eyes on the bar’s social pages for official announcements and be sure to bookmark its Stumble Guide page for opening hours and contact details.
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