Blacksmith - Australia’s most stylish bar

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

Mulwala’s Blacksmith Provedore has been awarded Australia’s most stylish bar design.

Blacksmith - bar, provedore and pizzeria located on Melbourne Street overlooking Lake Mulwala smashed its upmarket city and hip destination counterparts by winning Best Bar Design at the Eat Drink Design Awards in Melbourne last Tuesday.

The local business was shortlisted to a final group of 18 for last week’s awards from a total of 180 impressive nominations.  Nominations came from all across Australia and New Zealand including the likes of Byron Bay and the more upmarket suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney. 

The jury of design industry and hospitality heavyweights – led by Artichoke editor Cassie Hansen and including architect Phillip Schemnitz and New York Times restaurant critic Besha Rodell – loved the simplicity of Blacksmith’s bar design.

The judges praised the elegant restraint of the palette and materials, which complements its focus on serving all-day artisan pizzas.  

“This restraint allows the few pops of whimsy to have a greater impact: vintage-style pink patio umbrellas… evoke 1970s Southern California. 

“It’s beautiful. It still would have won if it was in Melbourne, but the fact that such a well-considered space happens to be in this regional town where it’s bringing so much value to the local community ticks even more boxes,” Hanson said.

Hanson said Blacksmith brings a lot of value to a regional town like Mulwala and raved about the tourism-boosting destination. 

“The public is becoming more and more discerning. They’re after a space that feels good and creates an experience that goes beyond the food and drink offering.”

Blacksmith Provedore founder and director Liz Bayles (nee McNaught), who grew up in Berrigan and Finley and boasts a background in 5-star hotels with the Hyatt Hotels group, said she wanted to create “something good enough to be anywhere in the world”. 

“Just because we live in the country does not mean we are any less deserving of beautiful places and spaces to go to. 

“We wanted to create a unique place and experience here that is super relaxed and enjoyable for all with access to the water.”   

Liz strongly believes that what Blacksmith brings only benefits Yarrawonga Mulwala at large.

“Everyone benefits when a business does well….the flow on affects to the town are enormous. I hope to have created something that our locals are proud of.”

Liz also said Blacksmith will soon be offering accommodation after purchasing a property next door to the growing provedore.

“We are here for the long-haul and we are committed to investing and growing this business further,” Liz added.