When first introducing their new bar, I wonder how many times the crew of Pawn & Co. have been forced to spell out the name to avoid raised brows. P-A-W-N. There are however a few similarities between this bar and the adult industry with the homonymous name; Pawn & Co. hints at mild debauchery and there are bodies for sale (the waitstaff, they’re expensive). The bar is crafted in homage to a New Orleans style speakeasy littered with oddities and, like a real pawn store, everything you see is for sale. Co-owner Josh Lefers says the idea was conceived after noticing half-hearted attempts overseas at a retail/watering-hole concepts and a pawn shop with a bar out the back. I’d even point him towards Red Door Yum Cha just down the road from the bar, where oriental antiquities are for sale as you scoff dumplings.
The food at Pawn & Co. tends to so-hot-right-now sliders, while the cocktail list makes a hero of absinthe (in ‘let’s really stick it to the prohibition era’ fashion). If you’re not a fan of the green fairy perhaps opt for a ‘Smoke on the Water’ comprised of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Antica Formula vermouth, maraschino liqueur & bitters. The masculine drink is served in a Whiskey Barrel smoked decanter poured in front of you as plumes of smoke escape.
Find Pawn & Co at 402 Chapel Street (they say Prahran, Google Maps says South Yarra).