Earl’s Juke Joint team to open new tiki bar

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: William Meppem

The team behind Earl's Juke Joint in Newtown will open a second bar in Sydney's inner west this spring. Jacoby's will take its cues from the dark underbelly of tiki culture and David Lynch.

The idea came to Earl's co-owner Pasan Wijesena, general manager James Fury and Adrian Sanchez (formerly of Shady Pines) last year while drinking at Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles. "In all our travels, we always end up loving tiki bars the best," says Wijesena. "The laid-back vibe, the music, the kitschy fit-outs - what's not to love?"

The upcoming bar takes its name from a character in David Lynch's '90s television series, Twin Peaks: Dr Lawrence Jacoby, Laura Palmer's psychiatrist, who was a tiki obsessive. "We love the noir, darker aspects of tiki culture," says Wijesena. "At the end of the day, you're drinking out of a shrunken head."

Jacoby's focus will be firmly on rum classics, and remixing lesser-known tiki drinks from the '50s such as The Tropical Itch (Bourbon, Jamaican rum, Bacardi 151, Curaçao, passionfruit and pineapple), perhaps with rye whiskey in place of the Bourbon, or pineapple vinegar amping up the fruit element; or an Eastern Sour (rye whiskey, orgeat, orange juice and lemon juice) given a spin with mandarin juice or yuzu.

All the syrups and shrubs will be made in-house, Wijesena tells us, and the succinct wine list will focus on rosé and orange wines, "echoing the hues of a Hawaiian sunset". "I'm also interested in utilising vinegars, tinctures and cold-drip infusions, again reaffirming a bartender's real guise as a nerdy shut-in rather than a loud party boy," he says. Toasted sandwiches will provide ballast.

Sydney has a number of tiki-themed bars and restaurants (Tio's, Cliff Dive, The Eathouse Diner) but Wijesena says Jacoby's will be smaller and "almost like being in someone's over-the-top rumpus room until 2am". The design is still being finalised but will hark back to the '50s and '60s, but with a touch of '90s eccentricity and vintage Tropicália. "It will have that sense of something that's been boarded up and hidden away for decades, only to be revealed in all its seedy, strange and wonderful glory."

Jacoby's is slated to open in September or October at 154 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW.

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