Elie Moubarak, Creative Genius, Laruche, Fortitude Valley

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

The bustling traffic and stifling evening heat of Ann Street dissipates into oblivion as the door closes behind you. Instantly you are transported to a fanciful world far from reality; a world that could exist in the twisted imaginations of Tim Burton or MC Escher. The space at once confounds and inspires. Disproportioned furniture engages the psyche. Awe-inspiring blown-glass light fixtures create an intimate yet eerie glow, adding to the mysterious aura that imbues the room. Subtly inscribed throughout the two-storey sanctuary is the phrase ‘Laruche’ – French for ‘The Hive’. The fertile mind that first imagined this decadent yet macabre take on Art Nouveau was that of Elie Moubarak, long-time proprietor of West End cocktail nook, Lychee Lounge. Together with his brothers Johnny and Mel, Elie envisioned a place fuelled by escapism – a bar and supper club where the artistic, the astute and the adventurous could abscond the everyday to indulge in ambrosial liquids and epicurean delights. The Weekend Edition spoke to Elie about his weekend favourites …

How do you like to start your weekend?
By getting up early.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Go to the West End Markets.

How do you like to unwind?
Rock-climbing and reading.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Most definitely having a climb and catching up with friends and family.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Get some beach time with the missus in Byron Bay.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Actually stay in. There aren’t too many days, and/or nights, that I can say are mine.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Sunshine … please.

 Only a local would know … that Crosstown Eating House serves up a pretty mean breakfast.

What are you reading at the moment? 
The Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton.

Who inspires you?
My mum, my daughter and my fiancée … and Nelson Mandela.

What inspires you?
Quality design.

What was your childhood dream?
I have always been a dreamer. My dreams were very diverse – from the possible to the outright crazy. I have a vivid imagination.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Still to come.

What is success to you?
Good friends, family and a few laughs.

What are your words of wisdom?
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela. I have always loved this one.


Perk up … Urban Grind

Relax … New Farm Park

Dine … Bishamon

Indulge … A tub of ice-cream at home

Shop … Fallow

Catch-up … Ugees, West End

Be inspired … GoMA




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