13/11/2015 12:25 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Merivale Opens Whiskey Bar In Tribute Of The Late John Hemmes


Merivale this week opened J&M, located on Level 2 of the historic Angel Hotel In Sydney's CBD, as a tribute to the late John Hemmes and the ingenious Merivale Hemmes -- the multi-level fashion outlet House of Merivale that once stood proudly at the historic hotel.

The House of Merivale was a cultural phenomenon that was very influential in the fashion scene in the 1970s.

Modelled on the fun and frivolity of London’s concept boutiques, the outlets not only influenced a generation of young Australia’s attitude to shopping, but also introduced an entirely new concept to local retail.

House of Merivale at The Angel also launched one of John and Merivale’s first forays into hospitality, with an innovative restaurant and espresso bar located on Level 2.

“Growing up, my sister Bettina and I were so lucky to be constantly surrounded by mum and dad’s creative essence," Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO and son of John told The Huffington Post Australia.

"J&M is our homage to their ingenuity and style from a time when they turned the Australian fashion scene on its head. Dad has always been my biggest champion, and I think he would laugh and say, “Good on you, Juddy. I love it!"

The whisky bar plays homage to the building’s rich fashion history with luxe interiors which reflect the intense, warm and indulgent flavours of whisky Chivas 18 -- rich green velvets, sleek brown leathers and copper accents.

J&M is decked out with luxurious chesterfield sofas and a long glass bar, alongside its hero feature -- a specially imported drinks trolley named ‘The Sidecar’, a unique collaboration between famous leather tannersMoore & Giles and esteemed barman Jim Meehan that pairs world class bar design with traditional woodcraft.

Guests enjoy personal trolley service, or sit by the bar to learn more about whisky from experts, as well as taste exclusive whiskies not available for purchase anywhere else in Australia.

Another nod to Merivale’s fashion roots, the bar features bespoke haberdashery cabinets filled with the ingredients that make up the rich, multi-layered aromas of Chivas 18 – dried fruits, buttery toffee and dark chocolate.