Pubs are as ubiquitous in Melbourne as trams and coffee. They’re our second living rooms, our community clubhouses with the freshest beers and ace banter. They are the locations for some of our wildest nights, haziest memories and most ill-fated romances. So, then, how do you feel about Melbourne’s pubs getting a healthy update?
It’s been announced today an organic juice bar and plant-based café will launch in two of Melbourne’s most celebrated pubs. It’s called Superfluid and it comes by way of Tracey Lester, the hospitality veteran behind the Builders Arms, Windsor Castle, Carlton Club and the Gertrude Hotel.
Two of those addresses will be adopting this new altruistic eatery. The Carlton Club will be the first cab off the rank, launching Superfluid’s brand of organic, cold-pressed juices and healthy plant-based dishes in a café on the ground floor of the Bourke Street bar. This is going to be followed by a Superfluid café launching in November at the rear of the currently closed Gertrude Hotel, which will be expanded when the pub re-opens in early 2018.
According to Lester, Superfluid will cater to the new generation of hospitality consumers who care about their health and value quality over quantity. “I wanted to create cool and conscious spaces where people could enjoy themselves and have fun while also embracing their health and wellbeing,” she says.
The menu has been developed by Lester and consultant chef Tristan Newman (who’s worked in the Cutler and Co and Tetsuya’s kitchens) and offers food that is organic, GMO-free, chemical and preservative-free, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fructose and refined sugar-free. There’s chia puddings, buckwheat and millet granola, raw cacao chocolate brownies, daily salad specials and vegan-friendly ice creams. They’re served alongside Superfluid’s line of organic, cold-pressed juices which are, naturally, served in recyclable glass bottles.
You can even preemptively counteract all the alcohol damage by purchasing "hangover prevention tonics and juices" which you can pick up on your way out of the Carlton Club in the late evening and early morning.
That all sounds well and good, but it begs a question for Melbourne’s pub grub diehards: are we ready to give up our pints and parmas for a healthy alternative?
Superfluid opens at the Carlton Club on October 27, with the Gertrude Hotel outpost opening on November 13. The café will be open seven days a week from 7am until 7pm.