|Der Raum's Life on Mars|
It ain't a new concept, indeed it's one that has been tried and generally failed, in Australia at least, for some years. Take the now defunct De Nom in Sydney. Membership was offered at a ludicrous $10,000 per year - I'm not sure that anyone paid for a single membership for a bar that, whilst a lot of fun in its day, struggled to serve even a decent Jack and Coke. It was nothing but a publicity stunt and the years have proved that it failed. But I've got a feeling that things are going to work out for what is Australia's most internationally recognised cocktail bar. And here are a number of reasons.
Reason One: They're Open to Negotiation
Whilst members will receive unrestricted access, if you happen to be swinging into town and want to check out the place give them a call. If they can fit you in the bar you'll be welcome.
Reason Two: The Price is Right
Rather than ask their loyal following of cocktail enthusiasts to fork out thousands - like Sydney's Level 6 for instance membership at Der Raum is coming in at a very reasonable $250. The price tag includes a birthday treat- a bowl of punch for you and your guests (members are allowed up to three guests per visit) valued at $260 and well as discounts on top-shelf spirits, discounted cocktails on Mondays, invites to special events and more. Also current Melbourne Temperance Society members get a $50 discount to the new membership fee.
Reason Three: It's for the Right Reasons
Having been to Der Raum a couple of times I know how busy these dudes get behind the bar with their drinks that, although exceptional, can be labour intensive. The doors are being closed to look after their punters and focus on serving such delicacies as the Life on Mars (pictured) from Der Raum's 2010/11 summer menu an eclectic combination of Matusalem Platino rum, capsicum, lime, 'dusted sichuan' and a 'cocoa butter & soy emulsion'. Der Raum's press release tells us that it's "less as a form of elitism and more a simple reinforcement of quality over quantity". Well I can live with that.
All I can do is wish the team good luck! If I lived in Melbourne I'd seriously consider a membership and with 10 years now under its belt I'm sure Der Raum will continue to thrive. Now to find a member to smuggle me in...
Visit their site immediately to secure your membership.