While we can’t promise you’ll wake up without a hangover after a trip to this new bar in Melbourne, you’ll definitely have a clearer conscience knowing your boozing has done some good. Founders Simon Griffiths and Zanna McComish like two things, volunteering in developing countries and a bit of a drink, and had a brainwave while knocking a few back on Australia Day: why not open a bar selling booze from developing countries, and give back its profits to charitable projects in those same countries? They couldn’t come up with a reason why it wouldn’t work, and here is Shebeen in the city’s renowned Manchester Lane. Named after the ghetto bars of Apartheid-era South Africa, Shebeen came about with the help of local hospitality figure Vernon Chalker, one half of a great gin and tonic, Schweppes, and spirits firm Brown Forman.
Designers Foolscap recreated the interior of one of the authentic hand-built bars (adding a few fire regulation improvements along the way we hasten to add), producing a charmingly ramshackle space decorated with ethnic art from tin&ed, who also collaborated with Alpha 60 on the uniforms. Perhaps the best part about Shebeen is its simplicity; all you have to do in order to help out a good cause is have a drink. Now that’s our kind of social responsibility. Cheers!