Redfern’s bourgeoning small bar scene adds one more destination to the mix. Welcome to Your Ex Lovers, an art/wine dive bar for lovers and exes, alike.
Entering Your Ex Lovers is like walking into your friend’s well lived-in homestead. Paintings sit on tables and lean on walls and hang in the front window (FYI that one in the window IS for sale), a teal-coloured couch and mismatched chairs throw themselves into candlelit corners, a simple projector spins a silent work of art onto a dark-blue wall, and piles of books offering art education call from a makeshift bookshelf.
If you haven’t cottoned on yet, the ladies behind Your Ex Lovers – Amelia Hepburn and Angela Aldred – are pretty big art aficionados.
And darn proud of it, too.
They’ve even gone so far as to partially name their outfit after a line etched into the details of a painting. The full quote being: “Drink a vile of this if you want to see your ex-lover sad.”
Like this bar, the words are sweetly melancholic, beautifully nostalgic, and subtly romantic. Planning to reunite with an ex-lover? This might be the scene you’ve been looking for to woo them in. But if you’re already in a relationship or are happily single, then it’s also a great place you and your lovers/friends, too. Coupled with a relaxed tipple and a meaningful chat, naturally.
Wining and dining at Your Ex Lovers.
The vibe: Relaxed, homely, and romantic.
Ideal for: Lovers, ex-lovers, and good friends.
Bartender’s choice: Your Ex Lovers house wine ($7)
Try the...Cheese Board ($10)
By the way...There will be movie nights in the basement during winter ($5pp).
Stepping into this abode on a Friday night, a warm welcoming feeling emanates from Angela and Amelia, whom I find partially hidden by the dimness of the bar and its deep blue walls. (“It’s the colour of ex-lovers,” says Angela.) The two stand at the bar, side-by-side, decanters from their personal collection to their left, and mismatched goblets moonlighting as wine glasses to their right.
One of them will be mine in a moment.
They sit above the stairway to the basement. For now, it’s being used it to store wine, but we’re assured it’ll be converted into a mini-cinema come winter.
“We’re shopping for couches at the moment,” they say, promising to splay them around to recreate that “at home” feeling. As for the movies? They’ll be the classics, and the 80s nostalgic. Think Ferris Bueller and Dirty Dancing and you’ll be on the money.
But back to my poison of choice.
The list consists of Pimms, beer, sparking, and a constantly changing 20-strong wine selection. The girls even have their own Your Ex Lovers branded house red and white. We choose the white, and you should too.It’s a dry and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from Adelaide Hills and is a steal at $7 per glass.
Amelia chooses a bulbous glass from her display to pour it in, and I nurse it in an armchair as I pay witness to the “twin brains” (as they’ve been called) at work.
Cheese boards are ordered by couples and friends who’ve trickled in on their way to or from dinner, and the girls respond by pulling out containers and jars from cupboards and fridges. Amelia lays out the four fromages while Angela dabs on the chutney. Amelia drizzles the balsamic, and Angela piles on the bread. In a way, it’s systematic. In another way, it’s harmonious.
A ten-year friendship that goes back to the days when they studied fine-arts together can do that.
Similar to the wines, these cheeses change too, as they’re driven by whatever captures these ladies’ interest at their local deli. Tonight, thanks to Amelia, one of them is a blue cheese with dried cranberries. It’s such a sweet and creamy addiction, I’m certain it’ll make an ex-something out of anyone who dares scrape the last bite from my the plate.
Go ahead. See if I’m joking.
Address: 139 Redfern St, Redfern
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 4pm-10pm, Friday to Sunday 1pm-10pm
Phone number: N/A