Rock On!

After An Eye-Catching Overhaul Red Rock Is Back!

In the modern world of cyber business and ecommerce, for many organizations, when crisis strikes, locations are as changeable and flexible as a hedge funder’s morals. However, when your business is based around locality, bricks and mortar, a place where people come to feel at home, a disaster that wrecks your foundations can be catastrophic.

This is precisely what happened at Red Rock when, in the build up to Christmas, the boom time for most hostelries, a burst pipe wrecked not only the bar itself, but also the season of good cheer for the staff and regulars of Red Rock, Nagoya’s best loved Aussie bar.

As if this were not disaster enough, the famous Red Rock bar sign was then kidnapped.

Yes, you read that right, the sign, a scale wooden map of Australia, lovingly hand carved by the one and only Joe Sichi, was kidnapped. One day it disappeared from outside of the bar and, while most presumed it had gone walkabout, a few days later a Facebook page named Red Rock Sign sprung up with pictures of it being held against its will all over the world. Someone was behind it all, someone nefarious – the mysterious Jeype, perhaps? There was an evil scheme afoot, and fate was seemingly spitting in Red Rock’s eye. They were down, it seemed, but most certainly not out.

“I decided, ‘let’s turn this disaster into something positive,’” said Joe from within the new ambiance of the Red Rock reborn. “We had been planning a refurbishment for some time, so we thought, ‘let’s do it now, let’s make good of it!’”

And so, the Red Rock team took these catastrophes and turned them into an opportunity – a catastrotunity if you will – and over six weeks with multiple design changes, gutted the place, starting from scratch. Like a phoenix from the flames… no, scrap that, like an emu from a bush fire, Red Rock has returned….

Much like the Antipodean island on which it is styled, Red Rock is well known in the gaijin community for its great pub grub. But, you know the old cliché ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’ Well they thought balls to that, and have taken what was already a silk purse and turned it into a… well, to be honest, NAGMAG isn’t quite sure what the next step up from a silk purse is, but whatever it is Red Rock have found it. Of course they still have their amazing homemade pies, and they have their crocodile nuggets, as well as their top quality Aussie range beef steaks, but they have tweaked bits and pieces to make that sil… bollocks! Still can’t find that bloody simile.

But similes aside, back to the food. Part of the renovation has been to dramatically overhaul the kitchen, widening it and opening it up with a serving window so, not only can you see the freshly baked pies being pulled from the oven, not only can you watch your prize steak sizzling in its deep cast iron pan, (the presentation of which having been contemporised as to appeal to the dainty diner as well as the red-blooded carnivore), but the scent of it wafts over to you long before it hits your table, leaving your mouth foaming like an early morning Byron Bay surf. In fact, NAGMAG would challenge anyone to head to Red Rock for ‘just a couple of beers’ and, as the aroma washes out of that open plan kitchen, to say ‘actually no, I won’t eat any of that delicious smelling food that is causing my mouth to drip like a knackered fridge.’ Particularly when it is happy hour and the price of a steak egg and chips drops to ¥1000, a price that would have any ocker Aussie crying “flamin’ hell!” or some other such stereotypical exclamation.

Another great change is, of course, the décor. Other than the massively improved kitchen, there is the toning down of the mis-en-scene – the clutter of boomerangs, car license plates, Aussie dollars, the Austaliana typical of most theme pubs. This has mostly gone, leaving behind just a couple of tastefully positioned token pieces, giving the new-look bar a cleaner, less chaotic aesthetic. However, one nice touch of Aussie iconography can be found as you approach the entrance, where the door handle has been fashioned out of a didgeridoo. Perhaps Japan’s, if not the world’s, only didgeridoor.

The clean line of the new bar is a theme that has been continued throughout the renovations. The old-fashioned wall covings have been replaced by a warm pine, the bathrooms have been completely overhauled and the new ceiling features glow with the warmth and comfort of Uluru, the great mountain from which the bar derives its name.

And this warmth is the real success of the renovation project. Red Rock has long been a great place for people to come together and connect, and despite the multiple changes, it has retained and even enhanced this notion. There are cubby holes, open spaces, of course the long stretch of bar, and as such is perfectly designed for all of your evening pub-going needs, whether that be a quick pint after work, a nice dinner with a friend, partying with mates or watching sports with the local Aussie Rules football team The Nagoya Redbacks, you’ll find all requirements catered for.

So, everything looks good, and what do they say? All’s well that ends well. ‘Hang on a wine-grape-picking minute,’ you say. ‘What about the missing sign?’ Well, towards the end of the renovation project, with not a little Cold War-esque subterfuge, the sign made its way back into the hands of its rightful owners. It was mostly unharmed, bar a small peninsular in the Perth area snapping off, but it once again sits proudly outside the bar. It could be said that, much like the bar it represents, it may have been battered, it may have been out of action, but it is back. It may be missing a bit of Perth, but the glow of Uluru, the Red Rock, has most definitely returned.

The Red Rock
Aster Plaza Bldg. 2F
4-14-6 Sakae, Naka-ku
Tel: (052) 963-5333


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