Right that’s it, one more week of crap weather and one more feature about a lovely design venture in Melbourne and we’re off. Going to find a shipping container that hasn’t been re-purposed as a restaurant and stow away if needs be. Rubbing our noses in it and providing another big tick in the Antipodean column is Naked For Satan, a new tapas venue in the Fitzroy area of the city.
Firstly let’s qualify, there’s no actual bodily nakedness on show here, and we’re pretty sure any attempt to eat here without clothes would meet with swift, Old Testament style managerial retribution. The Naked of the name is rather more apt when discussing the interior design (we’ll clue you in properly on the moniker later); on entry the look is Very Old Spanish Bar, further on it changes into Unreconstructed Warehouse, and it’s as a warehouse that the premises functioned before being taken over by the same folks behind The Provincial, Bimbo Deluxe and Lucky Coq. Cheeky names are a bit of a trademark with this lot, it seems. The ground and basement levels are joined by an old goods lift to the 4th floor, which provides some lovely sunset views to augment your Mediterranean nibbles if you time it right.
Among the many devilishly handsome features of Naked For Satan are the gilt picture frame wall mirror, carved table legs and modernised Queen Anne chairs of the main dining area. Also tempting the attention with their wicked ways are some beautifully restored old copper vodka stills, which play their part in the history of the venue.
The new name of the place refers to a Russian called Leon Satanovich (you’d be changing that, wouldn’t you?) from the 1920s, who used to strip down to his undies in the summer while distilling vodka in the old Moran and Cato building that houses NFS. That’s him looking rather black-eyed and scary in the old photo below. His dodgy crew used to chorus “Let’s get naked for Satan” as they shed clothes and began their shift on the clandestine depression-era scheme. Remember, you have been warned, so think twice before turning up to NFS under-dressed – the Russian moonshiners had their hellishly-hot operating temperatures as an excuse. Having said that, once you’re there one too many glasses of the Devil’s tears and we can’t be held responsible for what happens…