Oddfellows
22 Oct | drinks eats |

Housed in a building with oodles of character, Oddfellows Bar & Eatery is a highlight of the Victoria Street neighbourhood. If you haven’t made a visit, add it to the list.

Chloe and Niall are co-owners and both have a passion for what they do, which radiated when the Hello Hobart team went in for a visit.

Chloe has a varied and extensive history with well-known projects, such as co-creator for Ethos under her belt. She has just returned from Flinders Island where she was consulting on large projects. Whilst Niall hails from Glasshouse and has a strong affiliation with Willie Smith’s after being their brand ambassador for a number of years.

The food at Oddfellows is an eclectic mix of tastes designed to provide healthy, nourishing food packed with flavour. The highlight is the dinner menu, which was a collaboration with Nagham from the Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania. Nagham hails from Iraq and brings with her a wealth of true middle-eastern cuisine. Think house made ma’noush or chubby.

‘I really want Hobart to experience true multicultural food. We wanted to really get people to understand different cultures by absorbing them into our menu’, says Chloe.

‘I feel like we often look at people from different cultures, like Nagham, and you make assumptions that we wouldn’t have anything in common. Yet, here we both are laughing and chatting about all sorts of things.’

Niall admits that the drinks menu is compact, but well-curated and if there isn’t something to suit your tastes, you are welcome to BYO (corkage fee applies).

Uniquely, Oddfellows has also committed to creating a ‘closed loop’ on all their food to seriously reduce their impact on the environment. Quality food scraps are utilised in the drinks (think garnishes and flavourings), whilst other scraps are broken down into fertiliser that goes back into growing produce used at the restaurant!

Oddfellows shares the building with Alceme Urban Retreat, home to a yoga studio upstairs or The Sanctuary at Alceme, a wellness spa, downstairs. Chloe is a regular at the yoga studio upstairs, whilst the yogis upstairs often head down after class to get their nourishing fix.

‘We love being part of this beautiful neighbourhood here’, says Niall. ‘We are a more casual style of dining, we know that there are fantastic restaurants all around us, so we fall somewhere in the middle offering a relaxed atmosphere with a simple, delightful menu.’

Many Hobart locals will also know it as the old site of the Sirens restaurant, a vegetarian institution in Hobart for a long time. ‘There is a certain legacy that comes with running a restaurant in this building. People demand a sense of attention and respect to the past tenants’, says Niall.

‘When we were envisaging this place, we wanted it to be somewhere that you could come for a social lunch or dinner, but just as easily also bring your laptop and work the hours away. We see so many regulars, particularly from our neighbourhood, using this as a landing space. For example, there is an architecture firm that comes here for their regular meetings and take up a booth and spread right out discussing plans’, tells Chloe.

The building also has an interesting history of being the Hobart home to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, an international fraternity with its origins dating back to 1730 in London. The group focused on friendship and was a network designed to support the local neighbourhood.

As it turns out both Chloe and Niall had picked out other names for the restaurant, but when they uncovered the history of the Odd Fellows and the similarities between their own ethos and that of the fraternity, they knew right away that the name would be a nod to that.

Oddfellows Bar & Eatery is located at 6 Victoria Street, Hobart. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 til late.