The orange door that appeared on Ann Street a couple of months ago still seems to be puzzling to some. Many of my friends have had a hard time pin pointing exactly where it is (which is only a comment on some of the people I chose to spend time with), but this sits well with the level of mystery that comes with said orange door.
There’s no signage and without the mandatory bouncer and ID scanner (thanks, QLD Gov.) that graces the front door from 10pm each night, you might not even know it was a bar. That being said, the unassuming frontage is a wonderful juxtaposition to the grandeur that you are exposed to when you get to the inside of Saville Row. When you head on through said door and the luscious velvet curtains, you are greeted by candle light, the chatter of customers, background music and an outstanding back bar.
Split into multiple levels, the bar and upstairs – each with their own kind of lower landing, Saville allows intimate conversations, solo drinks, and groups ready to party on ’til 3am. I have used and abused Saville for all of the above, although my current personal favourite is to grab a solo seat at the bar and rapidly consume glass after glass of Grenache and Jameson’s – not at the same time or in some weird cocktail, but often side by side. My solo seat is perfect for taking in the clientele and it also gives me the opportunity to see the team in action and with bartending on this level, it’s one of my favourite pastimes.
When you head upstairs, you are greeted by larger booths and a balcony which overlooks the far from modest chandelier that dominates the space. It’s a goddamn beautiful venue, and you if you’re lucky enough to grab one of the seats on the edge of the balcony it’s easy to lose yourself in the beauty of what is happening below.
OK. That’s enough gushing about how pretty it all is and how fabulous the guys are (though FYI, it’s all gorgeous and the team are 11 outta 10), let’s talk booze.
As the venue is closely related to Cobbler, whisky is a large focus of the menu (think 400 or so options), but they don’t class themselves as a whisky bar. Rum, gin, tequila all feature heavily and the bar staff have an insane amount of knowledge relating to not only the spirits on their expansive back bar but also the booze and cocktails in general. The cocktail menu is presented elegantly and in actively promoting adult escapism, reminds me of a children’s story book. The obvious lack of windows and natural light aids this. When you walk into Saville, you are removed from the rest of the world, separated by rich customer service and great booze. The 20 rich signature cocktail list has something for pretty much every taste and if something doesn’t take your fancy, you can order any classic cocktail that comes to mind.
Rounding off the Saville menu perfectly is their selection of beers, ciders and wines. As I mentioned, I am a little partial to a Grenache or five when I’m there, but honestly, I don’t think you could find anything in there that wasn’t in the realm of fucking fantastic.
For what presents itself as a little bit of a swanky venue, Saville is extremely accessible and you can easily become so very comfortable there. It feels like you’re walking into a best friend’s house. It’s always filled with booze and hospitality lovers of every kind; whisky wankers, corporates, bartenders, and professional bar flies, plus people who have stumbled upon it somehow. How do people who aren’t hospo lovers find out about good places? Hopefully, it’s by reading things like my lil ‘ole blog over here. This mix of people makes it fun and the people in the venue determine the vibe. Over the weekend you can expect chilled out house music playing, but during the week you’ll hear anything from Ella Fitzgerald to Queens of the Stone Age.
Basically, it’s a great venue. It ticks all my boxes. Want a sophisticated drink? Tick. Hungry while you’re there? Order food from anywhere and bring it in – yep it’s BYO food. Want to sink Jamo and chat shit with your mates? They’ve got you.
667 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
5pm – 3am, seven nights a week