Winging It

The Red Hummingbird:

1st Floor, 246 Russell St, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9654 2266 or

Thomas Kiltorp and his partners at The Red Hummingbird are gunning for an air of exclusivity: forget about a sign over the door that leads upstairs to the bar, the only pointer is a red birdcage. Exclusivity is one thing but anonymity is nigh-on impossible thanks to the venue’s rooftop deck, which is visible to eight and a half thousand workers in a skyscraper across the road! Thomas’s CV is steeped in hospitality and white rum (he’s been a brand ambassador for Bacardi and set up the Collection in Richmond), and felt qualified to design the 150-capacity venue in-house. The deck is rustic: fitted and braced with red gum sleepers. The hardwood deck features slight idiosyncrasies, with a curved join from floor to wall and leans on some obvious Balinese influences. The furniture, sourced from Equator Homeware, is a mixture of wicker baskets, stools and hanging chairs. Awnings shelter the bar and seating from the elements, while strategically positioned black radiant heaters  take the edge off. The Red Hummingbird was originally going to be called ‘Angel’s Share’, from the legend that the little bit of whisky or rum you lose to evaporation is the angel’s share. But the fact that angels aren’t known for their power drinking or tequila slamming, they thought the name might be sending the wrong messages. Then, after finding some suberb (but soon to be discontinued) wallpaper with the hummingbird motif… the way ahead was clear.

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