When you think about the nightlife in Richmond you used to think pubs and grimey cafes. Within the last year and a half, Swan Street has turned the consensus on its head with the opening of The Ugly Duckling, Beer & Burger Bar, the upgrade to Richmond Club and a number of fucking fab restaurants opening up. Now it welcomes The Palm Royale into the fold with open arms.
There has been two very well established bars in the space (but this isn’t about them) before the team from Kid Boston / Jungle Boy moved in. You have been here before but it was definitely not what it is now. The Palm Royale still employs the same 'speakeasy' techniques with their locked gate and a buzzer- if you were to walk by you would think that the venue itself is Pablo Escobar’s front porch and you’ll have to do a double take to realize that it is actually a drinking hole.
Hit that buzzer. One of the crew will gladly open the gate for you. As you walk over the front porch you will smell the aromas of cigars on a summer night. Heck yes, they sell cigars over the freakin’ bar. You will be tantalised by the front porch on entry but you can come back later with a cigar! All y’all want is to see what this intriguing bar holds.
Step through the doorway into retro 1950’s Cuba. Holy shit this place would make Castro touch himself. The first thing you see is a beautiful tropical rattan screen that will guide you to the stunning padded barfront. This place will transport you the hell away from the daily grind and make you feel as though you’re on a bloody holiday. The back bar, is STACKED. These guys have worked with rum from day one so you know that they know their shit when it comes to the pirate lord’s gift to the Earth.
“It's a Cuban inspired cocktail bar taking influences from the prohibition era cocktails that were created by bartenders in Havana after they fled the states." says general manager David Denton. "So we'll be emulating that party vibe those venues created with fun & vibrate drinks as well as offering a large rum selection to enjoy in our lavishly designed space.”
With their twists on the Cuba Libre and a Negroni on tap, you will want to stay here all bloody night. Along side is a rotating craft beer selection to die for. As mentioned before, these people have been working tiki and rum since day dot so their cocktail menu is next level.
If you can tear yourself away from the bar for 5 minutes, head up into the lounge and chill with your mates. If your cartel of 20 are hangin’ off of you then this is the space to be. Live greenery with hidden creatures is our jam! Feeling over watered? Follow Flamingo Alley down to the washrooms. It’s not like us to mention washrooms but holy heck, ring-lights and engraved taps. The design in this joint is fucking phenomenal.
Now that you’ve had your adventure time, grab a Cuban Missile Crisis and a Romeo y Julieta cigar from Dean Jarvis and head out front. You didn’t pay too much attention to the beautiful setting en route to the bar did you? It is to die for. You will be smoking cigars and downing cocktails until stumps (1am).
Tiki done fucking right. Well done guys!
The Palm Royale
438 Church Street, Richmond
Wednesday - Sunday
5pm - 1am