A new venue in George Street is set to entice local whiskey lovers and foodies looking to sample a tasty range of tapas.
(min cost $8)
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Whiskey and Wags opened for business on May 12 as the brainchild of co-owners Tricia White and Mel Clear, with the pair looking to fill the void of a dedicated whiskey bar in Bathurst.
For Ms White and Ms Clear, both whom have extensive experience in the hospitality sector, said the sale of the Webb Emporium building [where the venue is situated] prompted the idea to enter business together.
"Because I manage Crema and knew it was empty, I spoke to Mel and felt this would be an ideal location to start this business, so we spoke to the landlord and went from there," Ms White said.
"It's a great spot in town, and with the dedicated clientele we attract at Crema on a regular basis, we feel there will be a positive flow-on effect."
Alongside Ms White's long-running ownership of Crema, Ms Clear has experience managing The Universal Eatery, which has operated as a cafe in Tarana and Oberon, and continues to run Mel's University Catering as a catering business.
Ms Clear said the site is already proving popular with locals, with around 50 attending the opening night and 70 the next night.
"A big reason for us opening this bar is not only the lack of a dedicated whiskey bar in town, but there's not a lot of places open on Monday night for people to enjoy a catch-up," she said.
"There's a lot of people moving into the Bathurst area who expect there to be a venue like this, so we're filling a void."
Ms White said the venue has a large variety of top-shelf whiskey, and is striving to stock plenty of local produce.
"We're all about showcasing local whiskey, beer, gin and food, and Bathurst is incredibly lucky to have all these bases covered regarding produce," she said.
"Mel has a diverse tapas menu, including grazing boards, sliders, salmon, prawns, oysters, fried halloumi and deep-fried pickles, which we're calling 'frickles'."
The venue is currently opening from 5pm on Thursday through to Monday, but may open for extended hours in the future depending on demand.
"We're just easing into things at the moment to see what the interest is like," Ms Clear said.
"We'd like to get some appreciation nights up and running to focus on local brewers and distillers, and we're definitely open to birthdays and functions."
Whiskey and Wags is situated behind Crema in the Webb Emporium building. For more information on the venue, visit the business' Facebook page.
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