Curated Lounge draws sophisticated crowds

Curated Lounge, the new venture by WhiskyBrother&Co, is drawing sophisticated crowds within weeks of its official opening, as Bedfordview gets a taste of world-class décor and service, with carefully curated, rare and small batch drinks.

Set in Bedford Square, Curated is part cocktail bar and part restaurant, with an irreverent art gallery atmosphere and cigar lounge, all offering a carefully curated selection of food and drink designed for sharing and discovery.

Marc Pendlebury, founder and co-owner of WhiskyBrother&Co, says Curated is the natural progression of WhiskyBrother’s journey. The WhiskyBrother Bar in Morningside, Sandton, and the WhiskyBrother retail outlets, cater for whisky and spirits enthusiasts, offering special and hard-to-obtain products to those with an interest in the distiller’s craft. “WhiskyBrother remains proudly singular in its focus on offering a specialised environment for those who care about what’s in their glass, but we also know there is demand for a broader experience, where those with a discerning palate can discover unique new drinks, including cocktails, in a space that allows us to focus on pairings, larger events, and just have a bit more fun with our drinks, and so the idea for Curated was born,” he says.

The vision for Curated gained momentum as the world emerged from the Covid pandemic, and people wanted to reconnect with friends, family and colleagues in special spaces, where they could share memorable experiences.

Curated’s décor is the lively result of a partnership with the Scapegoat Gallery, with the walls adorned with works from pop artists from South Africa and around the world. Pendlebury says: “The intention was to create a shell that could be a classic art gallery ‘vandalised’ by a street and pop-art aesthetic with colour and irreverence. The art is fun, edgy and definitely not run of the mill. This approach applies to the spirits we have curated too. It shows there is more to experience in addition to the ‘old masters’ and the mainstream, there’s always something new and unique to discover.”

Curated draws on WhiskeyBrother’s store of over 500 whiskies, but also continually adds to its bar menu with unusual imported spirits and new offerings by small batch and craft distilleries and wineries.

“The Curated offering caters for a discerning audience wanting to broaden their horizons. We have two sommeliers and a fantastic bar team dedicated to finding what’s new and interesting, and our mixologist has developed a unique, signature cocktail menu,” he says. “The feedback so far is that the bar would not be out of place in New York, or any capital of the world. We do try to do everything to world class standards, keeping in mind that the top bars on the world stage are all singular in their identities, and we think we’ve managed to do that with Curated” Pendlebury says.

Enhancing the overall experience and adventure of discovery, Curated has a cigar lounge offering an extensive selection of cigars, a restaurant menu designed for sharing and pairing, and an exclusive partnership with a local coffee roastery, Euphoria, to offer an exceptional coffee experience.

“Our food menu is designed to accompany the drinks and be shared with others. Customers can enjoy cheese boards, charcuterie boards or our dessert platters comprising an assortment of small desserts, and experiment with pairing various flavours with their drinks,” he explains.

The format is already drawing appreciative crowds for unhurried, extended social gatherings. Pendlebury says the Curated experience will be extended in the near future, with the introduction of regular tasting events, food and drink pairings, and private functions.

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