Trader Bar pop-up dance festival

The crew from the ultra trendy Trader Bar are on the move.

The heaving weekend hotspot will pack up their cocktail shakers, load up their lemons and move outside under the stars for one night only on Saturday 2 June.

And it’s going to be big.

Surrounded by the lush, tropical setting of the Darwin Botanic Gardens, the Trader Bar are taking their normal Saturday night antics to another level collaborating with WHY NOT DANCE, an all-new, all-day dance festival.

“Darwin has never seen anything like this before,” says Trader Bar co-owner, Pippa Ainsworth.

“It’s going to be fresh and different and a brand new experience.”

Also behind the popular Hangover Cruise events in previous years, Pippa and Co. are upping their game with WHY NOT DANCE with 10 times the DJs.

The national and international acts are regulars on the festival circuit and Melbourne and Sydney club scene (more on the line up here) leading Pippa to liken the festival to the outdoor day clubs you find dotted about Europe in the summer.

Fortunately, the Darwin Botanic Gardens are a lot closer to home.

As well as “sexy beats”, the festival will also feature tantalising food options from food truck favs La French, Ruby G’s Canteen and Bakery, Hansel & Gretel and beef brisket sliders from Pony & Sid.

Expect to see the familiar Trader Bar chic, tropical aesthetic on show, with the pop-up bar and stage to be handmade using recycled timber from fallen trees in Cyclone Marcus, the Category 2 storm that tore through Darwin in March.

As for the forecast for this cocktail party?

The only damage might just be on the dance floor.


More Info:

WHY NOT Dance Event

Saturday 2 June, Darwin Botanic Gardens

Or check out Facebook here.

New kid on the block: Frankie’s Pizza Joint


“Casual, chic, disco, fun,” is how owner of Frankie’s Pizza Joint, Alana Matthews, sums up the new Darwin City restaurant/bar.

Located in the Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar), a stone’s throw away from PM Eat & Drink, the tapas restaurant Alana and husband Ji opened to acclaim in 2016, Frankie’s is very much the couple’s “second child”. Quite literally.

As well as the pair’s second business, Frankie is also the name picked out for a potential second child.

Inside this new kid on the foodie block, the first thing you notice is the shiny disco ball hanging from the ceiling complete with neon pink lights. It sets the mood from the moment you walk in the door.

“We wanted to create a place that was really casual and fun where you could be sitting with friends drinking wine and having a great time and then you look at the time and realise its 1:30am,” says Ji.

Like the décor, the wine list is also a point of difference to PM. It’s noticeably cheaper. And deliberately so.

Alana and Ji make no secret Frankie’s is targeting a younger crowd with disco beats and a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.

Speaking of wine, of course they’re all Italian, much like the two chefs in the kitchen who hail from Milan and Venice and make all the pizza dough, pasta and bread on site everyday from scratch.

And it shows. The gnocchi was the best we’ve ever had.

Five stars also goes to the venue’s signature cocktail, Frankie’s Sweet Heart.

In keeping with the blush colour palette of the interiors, it’s a sweeter, “pink” take on the traditional Aperol Spritz with Limoncello and cranberry added.

Which brings us to the pizza. And yes we saved the best for last.

As Ji says: “They’re light and fresh and won’t leave you with a food coma.”

We had the FFPJ, the pizza named after the venue, with prosciutto, cherry tomato, rocket, fior di latte (Italian mozzarella) and oregano.

But wait, we hear you say, what does the extra F stand for?

Well, after spending months pouring blood, sweat and tears into the new business, Ji says the name evolved into something else… F*cking Frankie’s Pizza Joint – FFPJ see?

As for our verdict on the new place?

It’s F*cking awesome.


Frankie’s Pizza Joint

Paspalis Building, Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar)


Tues-Thurs 12pm-10pm

Fri-Sat 12pm-2am

More information here.