Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Of Restaurants and Revenants

Penned upon the 3rd of August, 2009

When it comes to horror-themed theatre restaurants, Melbourne has long had a Big Three: Dracula’s, in the north; Witches in Britches, in the west; and Hunchbax, in the east. In the south is the sea. Now, you’ll note, if you clicked those links, that Hunchbax recently closed down, leaving the trifecta suddenly incomplete. It’s a shame, but there’s always room for improvement – after all, the hunchback is hardly a horror staple, as is the vampire… and I was never entirely sure which hunchback he was supposed to be. Igor? Quasimodo? Richard III? Søren Kierkegaard?

In any case, there are rich veins of monster-themed hospitality to be tapped, so the wife and I put ourselves to pondering: what might take up Hunchbax’s mantle? Zombie’s Diner, a folksy, homely dive? Wolfman’s Late-Night Early-Morning Café, specialising in music so live, only a silver bullet could stop it? Mr Hyde’s Transformative Delicatessen, scientifically separating the grave and morbid rump roasts from the secret pleasures of the spiced sausages? But then, the answer struck us like a Penang lawyer.

The Cabaret of the Invisible Man the First

The Invisible Man’s Dining Room & Cabaret Revue!

It’s so simple, yet so perfect! Guests are ushered to their seats by the visible staff – so as not to start on too high a note, you know – but once all are in place, the host himself takes the stage – an animate evening suit, as dapper as can be seen. He welcomes the crowd and introduces the talent of the night – perhaps beginning with the invisible can-can girls, ruffled skirts lifting to reveal high-kicking stockings and rare glimpses of nothing at all. Or a conjurer – Antonio the Indiscernible – who saws an empty box in half, through a technique learned from a Sufi mystic. Then, perhaps, the tantalising Miss Perdu could perform her invisible striptease – a skimpy set of lingerie grinds around a high stool, then flutters to the ground as the music and audience swell. The host mops his invisible brow – my! How saucy! They’ll shut us down if we’re not careful! As a final encore, Antonio returns to the stage, and with a wave of his cape, makes his beautiful assistant appear! (It’s all down with talcum powder and coloured lights, you know.)

Brilliant, am I right? Just the thing to put the east back on the map, or at least on the compass. We’ll show those amateurs at The Floorshow From The Black Lagoon how to run a nightclub. I’d say we’re set until the south unleashes The Kraken’s Tavern, completing the cardinal directions and devouring the kingdoms of men. Calamari jokes strictly prohibited.

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Commentary upon “Of Restaurants and Revenants”

  1. Meaghan was heard to remark,

    Upon the 3rd of August, 2009 at 8:27 pm,

    And all you’d need to do it is a ‘cosy’ space and some gas fumes!

  2. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 3rd of August, 2009 at 10:39 pm,

    Finalist for the “Poorly Ventilated Dining” Award three years in a row!

Further remarks are not permitted.