The Northern Territory isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of wine, or wine bars. In fact, it’s likely that Stone House Wine Bar & Kitchen, in Darwin, is probably the first. At least the first that one might easily recognise as such once through the front door. Founded by Rebecca…
Clever Little Tailor
Clever Little Tailor is somewhat of a veteran now, having opened in 2013 when bars like this in Adelaide – that are now thankfully somewhat more prevalent – were just a dream. With a relaxation of the licensing laws approved – much like the ones that spearheaded the Melbourne and Sydney small-bar booms – Dana Whyte, Crispian Fielke and Josh Baker crafted Clever Little Tailor to be their notion of an ideal local bar, with an offer that traverses cocktails, beer and wine with equal confidence: “We wanted to cater to the local crowd, people living and working in the area and give them a place to feel at home while drinking high quality booze,” says Whyte.
The trio are also partners in Pink Moon Saloon, that eye-catching reclamation of a seedy laneway into a spruce-scented Alpine cabin. Clever Little Tailor, while perhaps less radical, is a clear antecedent to Pink Moon, with a rare level of detail and craftsmanship on display. Housed in an historic building on Peel St, with a stripped back interior showcasing the detail of the stacked stone construction, the interior takes a warm approach with plenty of bespoke timber fixtures (courtesy of Whyte’s father’s skills – he’s a retired boatbuilder), leather-clad booths, handmade fittings and sympathetic lighting.
The list is compact, but ever changing, with eight standard slots for the by-the-glass offer, though they’re always flanked by specials based on the whims of the day. Philosophically, you won’t find any great dogma at play here, but you certainly won’t find any corporate brands either: “Mostly Australian with a focus on sustainable farming practices and minimal intervention/lo-fi/natural winemaking. There’s always a smattering of international listings as well. But above all, we look for deliciousness.”
Outside of wine, Clever Little Tailor certainly takes its whisk(e)y and gin selection very seriously, with an enviable listing of the interesting and hard-to-source, both local and international, amongst the more recognisable players, while the food offer sticks to snacks and grazing options.