Name: Stephanie Bradshaw
Business address: 138a Eighth Street, Mildura
Social media: Facebook and Instagram @sipcocktailbar
Open since: July, 2017
They say with great risk comes great reward, and that’s certainly been the case for Steph Bradshaw and her partner Damo Arney after they took the leap and opened sip. cocktail bar & eatery.
Returning to Steph’s hometown from Adelaide three years ago, Damo, who has always worked in the hospitality industry, was keen to immerse himself in Mildura’s restaurant and bar culture.
“After living and working in Mildura for about a year, Damo and I noticed a gap in the market for a hospitality venue where the food and beverage offerings were restaurant quality, but the environment and service was informal and friendly,” Steph says.
“Somewhere you could have a conversation and catch up for something to eat and drink without worrying that the kitchen would be closed after 9pm and that services was ending.
“It’s always been Damo’s dream and something he’s always wanted to do.”
Despite the risks and challenges that come with opening a small business, the pair took the leap and opened their bar on Eighth Street.
Taking on a different approach to decorating sip., Steph and Damo worked on creating a funky 60s and 70s-inspired space and have a team of staff who have worked to make the bar a friendly “home away from home” for their patrons.
The living room style keeps the space casual and comfy, and is specially designed for catch-ups and conversation.
“Two and a bit years on and we couldn’t be happier with the results of our crazy business venture,” Steph says.
“It’s exceeded all our expectations.”
Sip. patrons have come to love the bar’s relaxed and friendly service, with Damo in his element and keen for a chat over the bar.
“Given that we are a pretty small venue, we get to know our patrons and I think that’s what keeps a lot of people coming back,” Steph says.
Patrons can also rely on sip. to be open and serving drinks and food outside regular service times, with the kitchen open until 11pm.
Stocking a number of quirky spirits, local wines and craft beers, Steph says many customers come in to see what’s new and different.
Situated in the heart of Mildura City, beside feast street, the team at sip. has happily joined the eclectic mix of independent small businesses in the area.
“We like to think it has a bit of a trendy, bustling feel,” Steph says.
“We needed to be in the space most people would frequent when they are looking for somewhere to eat and drink. We are extremely happy with the location we decided on.”
Other than your own store, what is your favourite shop within Mildura City Heart?
Being hospitality nuts, it probably comes as no surprise that we love to eat and drink in our spare time. We love to brunch at blk.mlk specialty coffee and actually use their cold drip coffee in our espresso martinis at the bar. We also love Glow Nutrition for their delicious and healthy takeaway options.
What is Mildura/Mildura City Heart’s best-kept secret?
We are big fans of the Mildura Fringe, which is an initiative of Arts Mildura. We love it because it’s not just one event – it’s an initiative to bring creative, diverse, inclusive events to Mildura in tonnes of places around town. The Mildura Fringe has brought some awesome events to our community this year. The World Music Festival, Ecofest, laneway parties – it’s just so very exciting! It’s so wonderful to see Mildura come alive and showcased in such a great way!
What does shopping local mean to you?
To us, buying local means making a conscious choice to support our local community. By shopping local we make a direct impact on the lives of people in our area.
Our purchases help create jobs, help local families thrive and best of all, help someone else fuel their passion. Being a part of that makes us feel pretty great!
Also, as an added bonus, shopping local can be great for the environment. When products are handled by hands over big machines, the carbon footprint of your purchase ends up lower. To be honest, we just love the feeling of knowing that when we shop local we are making someone in our community smile.