There was this red dress in the family closet. Red jersey wrap-around with handkerchief 3/4 sleeves and a handkerchief hem, purchased for a 6th Form (Year 12) farewell. That '70s dress was high Sydney fashion and took a bunch of months of working after school. That '70s dress was purchased at the original House of Merivale, a fashion store on Pitt Street. That trendy House of Merivale was the place to go. Handkerchief hems, smock tops, harem pants, jumpsuits, floppy hats, head scarves, boas, satin and sequins, wide lapels, flares, and platform shoes. The House of Merivale was a cultural phenomenon that lit a fire beneath Australia’s staid fashion scene. The House of Merivale Sydney sold all the fashionable gear for the girls, and in the same shop for groovy guys, there was Mr. John.
Modelled on the fun and frivolity of London’s concept boutiques, these eye-popping outlets not only influenced an entire generation of young Australia’s attitude to shopping, but also introduced an entirely new concept to local retail. John & Merivale was one of the first Sydney retailers to combine women's and men's fashion in one store. Later, there was a ground breaking restaurant and espresso bar within the multi-level store. Another first. And, the start of a hospitality empire that is still leading the way.
Now Merivale presents new J&M, an intimate whisky bar on Level 2 of the historic Angel Hotel, in a tribute to the late, legendary and much loved Mr. John, the ingenious Merivale Hemmes and their multi-level fashion outlet House of Merivale that once stood proudly at the historic hotel. J&M officially opens its doors tomorrow and will first launch as a Chivas Regal showcase and bring to life the meticulously blended flavour notes of Chivas 18 to create a unique, sensory whisky experience in Sydney’s CBD.
The eponymous bar plays homage to the building’s rich fashion history with sumptuous interiors which reflect the intense, warm and indulgent flavours of Chivas 18 - rich green velvets, sleek brown leathers and copper accents. J&M boasts luxurious chesterfield sofas and a long glass bar, alongside its hero feature - a specially imported drinks trolley named ‘The Sidecar’, a unique collaboration between Moore & Giles and esteemed barman Jim Meehan that weds world class bar design and traditional woodcraft.
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 to name but a few.
Guests can lounge and enjoy the personal trolley service or sit by the bar to learn more about whisky from experts in the field and taste exclusive whiskies not available for purchase anywhere else in Australia. J&M also offers an ever-changing list of specially-crafted cocktails such as the ‘Modern Gentleman’ - Chivas Regal 18yo, Antica Formula, burnt oak and apricot infused Campari and cold drip ice sphere; the ‘POPSCOF’ - buttered popcorn washed Chivas Regal 18yo, salted caramel syrup, bitters and Himalayan salt; and the ‘Blood and Marie’ - Chivas Regal 18yo, Cynar, Cherry Heering, Antica Formula, pink grapefruit and cherry dust. A short, nostalgic menu will be available, offering a tasty selection of small dishes to enjoy with a cocktail before or after dinner.
Entry via Angel Place, Sydney