Slip down the laneway parallel to Newcastle Street – just off Oxford Street – and you’ll find yourself face to face with the blue tin exterior of the Blue Flamingo. Sheltered behind the main drags, a snazzy retro-font sign guides you into the tropical-themed bar. It’s the new-look garden of the Leederville Hotel, and the space is huge – sunny, airy, and ideal for lazing around when there’s good weather about. It's easy to see why they’ve planned a series of summer shows here.
The front bar, dubbed the ‘Good Time Bar Cocktail Club,’ is home to charming barkeeps in Hawaiian shirts who mix up a mean cocktail. Beer and wine lists channel Latin America and their cocktails are inspired by “the liquor that brings the good times” – pisco, tequila and rum.
Décor is straight out of California or Florida in the ‘60s. From the big bubble lights hanging above each booth to palm trees and painted patterns of blue, salmon pink and cream, it’s kitsch and it works. There are wooden benches perfect for grabbing a jug and chilling out with mates on, and low-slung chairs to lean back in and imbibe while you listen to the upbeat jazz and Latin tracks on rotation.
The back bar and kitchen — look for the very in-theme pink neon dolphin overhead — serves up share plates and snacks a-plenty. The share plates are a decent size between two, and come with a plethora of hot sauces to douse the likes of guacamole, salsa roje and tortilla chips. The menu offerings also include pulled pork and grilled pineapple tacos, ceviche jars with crispy tortillas, and some very well-dressed street corn.
With sunlight peeking through the arched tarpaulin roof, plenty of seating, and an extensive booze list with matching South American-influenced eats, the Blue Flamingo's a top-notch spot to while away summer afternoons.