Mill Place Merchants brings speakeasy charm


In the heart of the CBD, a new hospitality venue has quickly earned the title of a true “hidden gem”.

Opened just two months ago, Mill Place Merchants has brought a classic speakeasy charm to its heritage-listed 19th century building, focusing on timeless food, drinks, and old-fashioned hospitality.

Paawan, one of the visionaries behind Mill Place Merchants, also owns a cafe in the same building. When the opportunity arose to transform the space, he seized it.

“It’s an 1840s building, it used to be a meat preserving company,” he told CBD News.

“I went in and thought it could be a very nice old cellar, like an area in somebody’s home where you can relax and drink a glass of wine or have a cocktail. That’s how the idea came about, then I just worked backwards in creating the concept.”

Entering Mill Place Merchants, you might think you’ve stepped into the wrong room as you stumble into what looks like a vintage dressing room.



“When you enter there is a mirror. Just behind the mirror is a door and you go left into the space and it’s like a big reveal. It’s very dark and it’s very ambient, people have really enjoyed that so far,” Paawan said.

At Mill Place Merchants, the team is “all about the classics”, and prides itself on “getting the basics right”.

Guests can savour snacks inspired by traditional preservation methods such as pickling and curing, alongside an impressive selection of high-end wines and beers.

However, the highlight of the menu is the meticulously crafted cocktails, made from scratch and following the exact recipes used by the original bartenders who created them.

“The Russian Spring Punch is one of our more slightly fruitier cocktails, which is made with vodka, raspberry liqueur, black currant liqueur, fresh raspberries, lemon juice, a touch of sugar and sparkling wine,” Paawan said. “We also do other things like the martini, which we follow the original, old-fashioned recipe from the late 1600s.”

Mill Place Merchants is not just a bar; it’s a journey back in time, offering a unique and immersive experience.

Mill Place Merchants is located at Ground Floor/2 Mill Place and is open Tuesday and Saturday from 4pm to 1am. •

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