In less than a year, Collingwood Yards and its many residents – Hope St Radio and Licorice Pie Records to name a few – have quickly grown into institutions in their own right. Although, in just a few short months, the Creative Pole will be pulling another card to play: a rooftop bar focused on records and great music atop its Johnston Street apartment building, known as Finalist.
The bar hails from Benny Rausa and Liam Alexander (owners of Color Carlton), along with several other business partners, including two members of the independent group Mildlife. Taste-makers in their own right, there is some hype in the air that Runner Up will live up to the reputation of those behind.
“We have some nice vintage JBL hi-fi speakers and an analog rotary mixer from a guy who built them by hand in Melbourne. It’s just a well thought out system that sounds great; nothing too crazy, ”said Rausa.
“Something that you can still hang out with people without blowing yourself up, we also took into account the acoustics of the bar so that it fills the space nicely. “
While this might sound like jargon, what you can tell is that the place has been well thought out, from the aesthetics to the audio. Rausa and co. are serious about having a good time, but that doesn’t mean Runner Up takes himself too seriously; in fact, the team aims for an inclusive and easy-going space, and that starts with its namesake.
“Behind the name was obviously ‘upstairs’ given it’s a rooftop bar, but we also have the development of the gurner next door that will eventually dominate us, so I would say that’ is a light approach and we’ll take a look at that.
“We will have a musical approach similar to what we do with the bar. Cheerful, fun, vintage, 70s, disco, soul and jazz. We’ll have DJs on weekends and weekday evenings, we’ll probably let the bar staff play records while they work, ”said Rausa.
In addition to what’s going to be played through the speakers, those walking up the stairs can expect a well-stocked, well-stocked bar – it comes with the caliber of those behind, after all – as well as a view sweeping across northern Melbourne (at least for now).
At this point, Runner Up is expected to open towards the end of the year. Keep an eye on their Instagram for all the details.
In the meantime, go to Hope St Radio.
Image Credit: Collingwood Yards