Havana-inspired hideaway The Malecón arrives in Milton
There’s nothing quite like being transported to an exotic locale without having to board a plane. This is what happens when you step off the street and into the vibrant surrounds of Millton’s newest cocktail joint. Three of Brisbane’s most enterprising individuals have created a slice of Havana in the inner west, fashioning a watering hole that will have you feeling like you are partying in Havana. The Malecón taking locals on a tour of Cuba through its extensive rum-centric cocktail offering and own stylish distillery operation.
After working in the beer and wine industry as an executive for three years, Luke Swenson embarked on a career change and made a name for himself in the world of grooming – launching The Bearded Chap to great success. After five years at the top of the follicle game, the bearded chap himself started contemplating a return to the booze biz. He met up with friend and hospitality guru Aaron Boardman (ex-Pepper Lounge, PonyCat, Cobbler and current co-owner of Kettle & Tin) to talk about setting up a rum-focused bar that offered high-end service and a quirky feel that drew influence from pre and post-Castro Havana, where traditional hospitality was king and character could be found in spades. Being no stranger to high-quality hospitality, Aaron helped put the proper pieces into place to refine and hone the vision into something that was perfect for Brisbane. Soon investor and construction consultant Jason Harrison (another co-owner of Kettle & Tin) threw his support into the mix and with Aaron’s expert guidance and enthusiasm the trio pulled the trigger on what would become The Malecón – Milton’s newest charming watering hole.
While situated only a few doors down from Newstead Brewing Co., The Malecón is one of those bars that you could easily stumble upon by chance. Inconspicuously situated in the shadow of Suncorp Stadium, The Malecón’s moody interior boasts the old-world aesthetic of Havana, where lots of recycled materials have been incorporated into the build. The roof is bare hardwood that showcases old joinery, while the light fittings and furniture are all well worn vintage finds. Table-service booths are enclosed by railings made from wrought-iron fencing and the seven-metre long bar is perfect for facilitating conversations between punters and knowledgable bar staff. What really draws the eye is The Malecón’s own rum still, with stainless steel and copper that gleams in the light.
If you hadn’t already guessed, The Malecón is a rum-focused bar, with Luke, Jason, Aaron and the team looking to bring a bit of sexiness and freshness back to the classic spirit. They wanted to do justice to the drink, giving it the same attention and profile as one would at a gin or whiskey bar and the results speak for themselves. The Malecón boasts a formidable collection (roughly 80 bottles, with more to come) of some of the best rums sourced from Cuba and around the world (in addition to tap beer and wine, plus a range of other popular spirits) paired with fresh, locally sourced ingredients for its seasonal cocktail menu. The rum distillery will soon start producing libations that will feature heavily across The Malecón’s drinks list as the house rum, with the team eager to create their own variations on par with what can be found on the shelf.
The Malecón is now open to the public. For location details and opening hours, click on over to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 1800 places to eat, drink, shop and play.