Rule one at Earl’s Juke Joint: ‘Please respect our neighbours, and our neighbourhood.’ Rule two: ‘Don’t be creepy.’
Other, minor rules include ‘be cool and cut yourself off when you’ve reached your limit’ and ‘have fun and engage your neighbour’ with a caveat – ‘see rule 2′.
This is a New Orleans-inspired bar, an Aussie ode to French 75 (the bar attached to Arnaud’s restaurant in NOLA’s French Quarter) with a voodoo twist and a lick of hip-hop, where bright green Hobo Juleps (a shot of bourbon, sugar syrup, mint bitters over crushed ice) are slung as quickly as middies of Resch’s and shots of ice-cold Fernet Branca. Oh yeah – they have that. On. Tap. Mothers, lock up your medicine cabinets. Things are about to get Italian.
So there’s a certain amount of tough-guy drinks on the list (we love the Original Gangster – Cognac, Luxardo, PX sherry, Antica Formula) but then you’ve also got the best goddamn Piña Colada this side of Puerto Rico. Here, it’s equal parts condensed milk and coconut cream, lime and pineapple juice with a whole bunch of rum – blended! You’ll want to drink this one on the treadmill or, at least if you value your arteries, don’t chase it with a Mary’s burger.
Earl’s also features an outrageously long bar. That’s 11.5 metres of elbow-propping bliss. Get in early to bags a spot, or one of the small tables dotted around the room. There’s a nice-looking bench at the front under the scalloped lace curtains we’ve got our eyes on, too. All along the walls under the framed Fats Domino and T-Bone Walker posters there are little leaning ledges. Basically, there are plenty of places to slump, perch and hang.
All the time and expense that’s gone into making this bar has gone into making it a comfortable, relaxing and fun place to drink. And if the crowds are anything to go by, they’ve succeeded. Laissez les bon temps rouler, y’all.