The Lucky Bat Cafe

The Lucky Bat Cafe oozes Darwin. A hand-painted cyclone isobar weather map stretches over the walls, which are adorned by colourful pops of art depicting Darwin icons like barramundi, dragon flies, and salty plums.

For anyone who grew up in Darwin, it’s like stepping into a time machine and being spat out in the 90s. Of the brightly coloured screen printed shirts that also hang on the walls, one even shows the old ‘Rite Price’ sign. **Cue memories of grocery shopping with your parents.

A collaboration of artistic minded friends, The Lucky Bat Cafe cleverly meshes this classic Darwin narrative with a modern hipster vibe via plenty of potted plants, wood, antique spoons and touches of neon.

Everything inside was handmade by the owners or recycled. Even the chairs are old-school… literally. You probably sat on them in your classroom days.

“We really wanted to bring a Darwin feel to the Cafe and the bohemian, beachy vibe of Nightcliff,” said owner Danny Chrichton.

“We’ll be showcasing local and emerging artists – a different artist each month.”

The menu is also a nod to Darwin with mango shakes and fresh herbs but it’s the baked eggs which have quickly become a crowd favourite.

“The food is food we love to eat ourselves: fresh, healthy and super tasty,” said Danny.

And it sounds like the Lucky Bat team have plans to take over Gotham – sorry Nightcliff – soon with a courtyard behind the cafe featuring a four-tonne wood fired oven to open shortly.

And for those wondering, the inspo for the Cafe’s name came from a trip to George Town in Penang, Malaysia where the famous colonial buildings have bats and other motifs carved into the wood reportedly to bring the occupants inside good luck.

From what we’ve seen, we’ve no doubt good fortune will be flying the Lucky Bat’s way soon.

The Lucky Bat Cafe: 3/7 Pavonia Place, Nightlife

Open: Tue-Sun 7am-2pm

More info: Facebook page here.


Impressions of Paris

Oh la la there’s a new art exhibition in town! Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier opened last week at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT in Darwin and oui oui – it was quite the party.

To celebrate the opening of the major exhibition, direct from the National Gallery of Australia, hundreds packed into MAGNT for a free concert by “La Mauvaise Reputation” – who are a French gypsy swing band.

The band created plenty of hot jazz swing vibes and transported everyone to a little, imaginary corner of 1930s Paree. Perfect preparation for the exhibition upstairs.

Impressions of Paris features the work of three artists: Honoré-Victorin Daumier (1808–1879), Edgar Degas (1834–1917) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901). According to MAGNT: “… each was a consummate draughtsman whose innovative compositions and embrace of modern subject matter played a significant role in artistic developments in France over the nineteenth century.”

The drawings show-off a little of the “naughty” side of Paris society at the time … think drinking, dancing, cabaret, prostitutes etc etc and offer a little window into what life was like back then… a little bit wild, a lot bit fun.

This exhibition is something really different for MAGNT – a Museum renowned for its stuffed crocodile ‘Sweetheart’ – and you notice it as soon as you step into the room … so big thumbs up to the MAGNT team for bringing it to Darwin.

Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier features over 150 prints, posters, drawings and monotypes drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, with Darwin the first stop on a national tour of the exhibition.

Impressions of Paris is open from 27 March – 8 June 2015, entry is free.

Sadly, the toe-tapping, sweet gypsy jazz sounds of La Mauvaise Reputation were a once-off.

Pictures: Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory