Cobs and cocktails in a quirky space
Have you spotted the quirky cartoon character heralding The Lost Souls bar on Darby Street?
Dubbed Seymour by The Lost Souls owner Mary, he’s just one of many conversation starters provided by this offbeat but welcoming venue.
From the unique fit out to the section of the menu dedicated to cob loaves, there’s plenty to discuss as you sip a cocktail and people-watch from your vantage point at the front window.
Inspired by Mary’s travels and her time living in the UK, The Lost Souls is a celebration of all things eccentric.
“I was living in England up until COVID-19 happened, and when I came home, I really missed it. The Lost Souls is inspired by my time over there and all the quirky places I used to go to,” Mary said.
“I aimed to create a place that was so different to anything you’d find around here – not many places have tables hanging on the ceiling! I wanted to create a welcoming space that anyone could come into.”
Mary sourced most of the bar’s furniture and knick knacks from Facebook Marketplace and op shops, then upcycled her finds to fit out the space. It’s mismatched, but in a way that feels cohesive and cosy.
There’s tables and chairs attached to the ceiling, a wall plastered with MAD magazine pages, and a benchtop attached to an old bike.
The food and cocktail offering has plenty of points of interest too. Chef Ben explains that The Lost Souls’ menu philosophy is simple food done well – think elevated share plates with ample gluten-free options, plus options for vegetarians and vegans.
“Even our simple dishes – like the Seared Broccolini with dukkah, garlic oil and parmesan, or the Smashed Chats with truffle oil and parmesan – we want to make them stand out. They’re not just side dishes,” Ben said.
Ben’s menu highlights include the Charred Eggplant with confit garlic, fresh and fried shallots, tahini and salt lavosh crackers; Crispy Skin Pork Belly Pieces with Young Henry’s Cloudy Cider compote, cauliflower puree and dehydrated apple; and the Glazed Fried Cauliflower, with spiced honey glaze, and lime and garlic aioli.
Ben has a focus on seasonality and sourcing ingredients locally, so the menu will be regularly updated, but will continue revolving around the same format of cob loaves, boards, and small and large share plates.
“Every time you come in it’s something different, you won’t get bored,” Mary said.
With a winter menu update coming up, Ben teases that he’s planning a premium lamb backstrap dish, which he’s very excited to start serving up to customers.
Local producers appear on the cocktail list too, with Mary serving up a twist on the Cosmopolitan featuring Earp Distilling Co’s Limoncello, plus vodka, lime and cranberry in the Limoncello Cosmo.
Other cocktail highlights include the Smoke and Spice with reposado tequila, Ilegal Joven mezcal, elderflower, lemon, cucumber and jalapeño and the aptly-named Sunshine with Tanqueray Sevilla gin, Aperol, lemon and orange bitters.
You can also expect classics like a Margarita or an Amaretto Sour.
For those not drinking alcohol, you can find non-alcoholic versions of several of The Lost Souls’ cocktails, like the Elderflower Mojito or the Painkiller, both featuring Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits.
The Lost Souls also serves coffee until close, so you can get your caffeine fix until late in the night. You could even pair it with a dessert from Gigi and Chix, or one of Ben’s orange-spiked creme brulees.
Keep an eye out for Seymour’s specials (like cob and a drink for $23) or get down for happy hour from 4-6pm Wednesday to Friday, when house spirits, beer and wine are $8.
Mary hopes that she can bring something different to the local hospitality scene with The Lost Souls.
“I’m hoping to fill a gap in this area. The Lost Souls is for people who don’t want to go clubbing or to a pub, but they still want to go out,” she said.
“We’ve had a lot of really good feedback and the community has been really welcoming.”
Time to pull up an upcycled chair, dig into a cob loaf, and debate which of The Lost Souls’ vintage light fittings is your favourite.