My connection with Steve Miller dates back to the late 90s when I was working at Shock Records, and he was running a Shock distributed indie label called W.Minc.
When he relocated his bar, Handsome Steve’s House of Refreshment, from the Abbotsford Convent to across a cobbled lane from our home, the universe was brewing up a fabulous reunion for us (he didn’t remember me at all), and a lasting neighbourly alliance, which continues to bring us much happiness.
Steve’s philosophy is simple – treat your regulars with kindness and generosity, and they will keep coming back. And, we sure do.
On offer is coffee, beer, prosecco & campari. Little else. People who visit often, don’t need much else. Spend five minutes in Steve’s company and his bar, and you feel like you’re jettisoned to the happiest rock’n’roll, indoor plantsy, Chesterfield, Xanadu of your life.
The man is full of stories of 1980s Fitzroy, this band, that band, his band – lots of names you don’t actually recognise, but nod along anyway, whilst necking a prosecco (like a lady). He is a fascinating man. One who has managed to connect his love of music, beer and films to a bar, a band and his own line of t-shirts.
In keeping with Steve’s philosophy of simplicity, they come in one size – a men’s small, they are $25 each, and he is always wearing one. Each t-shirt contains a quote that means something to Steve.
YOU KEEP SAMEING
Nancy Sinatra‘s These Boots Are Made For Walking lyrics, yeah and you keep same-ing, when you ought to be changing.
FOR GOD’S SAKE TURN AROUND
Film Quote from 1997’s A Life Less Ordinary (at 43m:39s)
DON’T TRY TO TOUCH ME
The Shangri La’s Past, Present & Future lyrics, Take a walk along the beach tonight? I’d love to…but don’t try to touch me, don’t try to touch me.
WOODSTOCK WAS WEAK SHIT
As decreed by MC5, In Detroit, Woodstock was the weak shit.
AC/DC’s It’s A Long Way To The Top lyrics, It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll…hotel motel, make you wanna cry.
Where’s The Professor?
The Saints‘ Know Your Product lyrics, Where’s the professor? We need him now!
When he’s not serving up tales of the city at his establishment, Steve plays in SMB (Steve Miller Band), with two stunning talents, the Duchess and the Shewolf – they recently supported the Cosmic Psychos (legendary Melbourne punk rockers), and have quite the cult following.
Drop in, next time you’re in Fitzroy: Handsome Steve’s House of Refreshment, rear of 397 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (enter on Leicester Street). Open Thursday – Sunday, 12 noon – 10pm (or earlier or later than specified, depending on Steve’s diary, which can change at a moment’s notice).