Next time you’re stuck for a new place to wine and dine with family or friends, make Fireside Lounge & Bar at Ainslie Football & Social Club your destination.
A pleasantly surprising new kid on the block, the space breaks out of your traditional club mould and provides a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ when it comes to modern, yet comfortable dining.
The jewel in the crown of the club’s first stage refurbishment, Fireside Lounge & Bar invites you to order a glass of your favourite drop before taking in the beauty of the rest of the new-look space.
“One of my favourite things about the new venue is the various spaces created throughout. They all achieve intimacy without segregation and you still get a great outlook, which always contributes to the experience in a social environment,” Ainslie Group Marketing Coordinator Alycia Kunze says.
The stunning bar commands your attention and boasts an extensive beverage and wine list, with craft beers including local label, Pact Beer Co.
“The bar is definitely a core feature, it brings the best out of the interior and product, and is very inviting,” Alycia adds.
“We are really proud to be including local Pact Beer Co. on our feature craft bank. We love supporting local businesses and celebrating great products, especially knowing our members are loving them too.”
Onto the lush seating area and your eyes require a double-take to truly let all the detail of the design sink in. Featuring a cozy fireplace, modern furniture, lavish fabrics, modern pendants and fixtures, and a royal colour scheme, the Fireside Lounge is the perfect place for both men and women to escape the daily grind, wind down and lose track of time.
“Fireside Lounge brings that perception of warmth into the space. Everyone loves a fire, especially on those cold Canberra days,” Alycia says.
“When you sit back and look around it’s like you get a peek inside the lounge rooms of our members. They look and feel at home, like they’re having a bottle of wine at their dinner table – they just seem so comfortable.
“When we see people enjoying the space, it makes us feel really proud to be offering such a venue, which simply brings people together – that’s what it’s all about.”
Here you can savour the small bites and share plates menu, perfect for sharing, and specially curated by Ainslie Group Executive Chef Chris Simms and Sous Chef Alonso Jesus Chiok Diaz.
You can’t go past the Trio of Sliders, one pulled beef slider with smoked cheese and tomato relish, and two pulled barbeque pork sliders with coleslaw; and also the Rustic Wedges, homemade potato wedges seasoned with lemon, rosemary, sea salt rub and garnished with sliced red chilli, served with sour cream and sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Sims and Chiok Diaz are both bringing their cultures and creativity to the new food offerings. A quick peruse of the menu and you’re sure to get a feel for the level of love and care that goes in to every dish – every ingredient has been refined to perfection.
Sims has a wealth of culinary experience under his belt, having served his time as a prominent figure in the hospitality industry for 25 years, honing in on his skills both in Australia and abroad.
“I still love every minute of it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s in my blood,” he says.
“Working at Ainslie Football & Social Club is great because the growth of the food side of the business is phenomenal. Clubs are evolving and play a major part in the local community.
“We deliver first-class service which is a mixture of quality customer service, quality food and value for money for the customer.”
Chiok Diaz grew up in Peru, in a valley named Cañete where he explains that the love of eating very tasty food is engrained in you from a very early age.
“Since I was a kid I loved being involved with cooking, constantly fighting with my mum when she wouldn’t let me get close to the kitchen,” he laughs.
“When I moved to Australia, I started working as a kitchen hand and my passion for food started growing more and more.”
Always looking for new ways to experiment and push the boundaries with food and dining, Chiok Diaz spends his spare time researching and developing new ideas and skills, as well as new techniques which he says keep his cooking fresh.
“I love seeing the excitement on a person’s face when they try my food!” he says.
“We put a small twist on traditional club food, and are slowly making fun changes to the menus for our patrons to enjoy.
“My true belief in life and the food industry is, ‘There must be love and passion’. I am always quoting this to my staff, and it’s very much a reflection of my whole culture and life.”
“We can’t wait to show you the new menus created for the dining precinct which will open in stage two of refurbishment”.
Stage two of the new Ainslie refurbishment is coming October 2016.