Project Team

designer: inochi design studio

Lady Lux nightclub, which was closed earlier this year, has reopened with a new name, new feel and a new emphasis, as The Backroom. Owners David Freeman and partner Raul Gonzales, have had the venue refurbished and redesigned the from a boutique nightclub to a hidden basement bar.

Sealed behind a mysterious Acme Bookstore façade on the reknown Kings Cross strip The Backroom is a unique venue designed for a distinct clientele - only those who are aware of its existence. 1950’s film noir influences the interior aesthetic with the brooding detective and the femme fatale noteworthy characters within the designed space. The noir notions are furthermore acknowledged as bar staff shake modern martinis whilst donning fedoras and vests, and cocktail waitresses offer bottle service to patrons, clutching ice filled briefcases rather than trays.

According to interior designer Kristie Paul of inochi design studio, the client had a long list of quirky ideas.

The Backroom was designed with the intention from the bar of serving innovative cocktails, from the ‘Smokin’ Black Mexican’ to the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller’. Each cocktail is described to patrons with an underlying story and hint to the Noir theme presented in antique books complete with leather bookmarks. Along with a unique and ever changing cocktail list, The Backroom offers fresh coconuts from behind a ‘coconut bar’ facade, drilled and then injected with combinations of lychee juice and Malibu Rum, or Tequila, Contreau and fresh lime juice.

Black and white stripes in the entry foyer extend from wall to ceiling, acting as a portal from the Kings Cross strip into a secret world, an old piano rests on the wall beckoning to be played once again. Stepping into the lounges, the detective’s office is a step back into the movies of the period with liquor cabinets, leather chesterfields, framed black and white photos, and wall

mounted banker’s lamps acting as a direct reference. In comparison, the femme fatales lounge room sits alongside with its musk pink flocked wallpaper and a 1950’s television displaying porcelain dolls fills a wall alcove, as vines grow across its screen.

Soft light is cast from above by upturned antique street lamps, and stacked recycled bricks form the back bar. Spirit bottles sit alongside flickering candles in neat alcoves and await elegant cocktail mixologists. Downstairs, The Backroom transforms from quirky cocktail bar to the DJ’s lair with a dancefloor featuring banquet seating lining the perimeter, a Funktion One sound system, and mirror balls that cast flickers of light over the ‘windows’ that frame back alley street scenes from the 1950’s.

Furniture, fittings and equipment were hand sourced from various Sydney auction houses and antique dealers, imbuing a sense of 1950’s nostalgia. Lighting was sourced from Hermosa Lighting and Robert Kitto Lighting via Chippendale Restorations.

The Backroom is a bar premise like no other - secrets, service, and sips of sexiness, existing behind a misleading street façade… keep it under your trench.

“I employed inochi to design what was to be The Backroom and ended up getting a designer, builder, painter, bricklayer and friend,” commented David Freeman. “We spent early mornings, late nights and long hours to complete this job and every day inochi seemed to amaze me with their ideas and adaptive re-use concepts for the design and allocated budget. The final design of The Backroom has proven to be more positive than expected and I owe that all to inochi. The amount of work and overtime by inochi staff meant The Backroom opened in time and has now become one of Sydney’s newest hot spots!”