The Onyx Rises

214 Timor Street, Warrnambool VIC

(03) 5562 0741 or

In a rural city of 32,000, amidst only a handful of competitors, the Gallery Bar and Dance Club in Warrnambool lashed out (probably more than it needed to) on its design. The latest $1.2m extension to the nightclub resulted in the Onyx bar, a multi-function, warm and inviting bar that would find its way onto many a pre-dinner drink schedule as well as extending the nightclub as the night turns. Designed by Conrad Manolidis of Blackmilk, the Onyx Bar stretches over two levels, with an impressive backlit onyx bar feature, imported from Italy by Amalgamated Marble. Upstairs, a granite bar fitted with a resin insert is illuminated by internal colour changing LED lighting that matches the ceiling wash of the first floor. All the furniture throughout the bar was custom designed by Manolidis, featuring ottomans upholstered in Italian fabric, the built-in seating upholstered in a striking metallic orange and a patterned black vinyl, with crocodile skin black vinyl bar stools. The first floor is similarly finished, with cherry red introduced to highlight the darker tones lifted from below and stainless steel poles creating a room divider downstairs are repeated upstairs for a dramatic textural linkage. Preparing early for July 1, two smoking courtyards were important inclusions to the extension. The first floor courtyard makes use of perforated metal screens that act as a wall while allowing the required airflow; the styling is then repeated as the ‘roof’ of the courtyard. Sitting in pride of place amidst the timber bench seating is an Indonesian lava stone Buddha, weighing in excess of a tonne, that caps off the Club’s ambitions.

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