Brunswick locals and visitors alike would be familiar with The Bergy Seltzer. Not only is The Bergy a top venue for drinks, entertainment (or even delicious housemade pies on-site), the story of how The Bergy came to be is one of resilience and determination.
I recently met with David “Frankie” Cudmore, Bergy co-owner and lifetime Brunswick local, to learn more about the bar. When I arrived at The Bergy, I noticed posters on the door advising the “COVID Normal” opening hours. In the past year, newer venues like The Bergy Seltzer have suffered with lockdown – unable to open for safety reasons, but also unable to compete with the likes of Dan Murphy’s if they provided takeaway alcohol. It’s now more important than ever to support local businesses and hear their stories.
Once inside, Frankie was behind the bar, comfortable and at ease while setting up for the evening. Before our interview, he gave me a tour and served me a delicious glass of white wine. The bar is intimate, with smaller tables by the front door. Behind the bar is the band room, where The Bergy hosts up-and-coming bands and comedy acts on a Monday night. But for bigger groups, the beer garden is the place to be. The good vibes continue outside, with the walls lined with faded album covers from Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Neil Young, and more. Frankie tells me that the roof above the beer garden can be opened or closed – ideal for any season.
Good vibes everywhere at The Bergy. Source: author
We then go to the hidden Lounge Room upstairs, which has hosted events from birthday parties to art gallery showings. The room overlooks Sydney Rd, and has antique décor and bright green plants to match the bright green walls. The Bergy was once an Irish pub called The Snug, and that the original owners used to live in these rooms above the bar.
Hidden Upstairs Lounge Room. Source: author
“I grew up in West Brunswick.” Frankie begins our interview. “Brunswick was a lot different when I was younger, to by the time I was 20. By then, I was working in live theatre in lighting and sound, doing kids shows and comedy gigs.”
This experience has made him a man equipped to handle the chaos of owning a bar, especially in the heart of Brunswick. Frankie was previously working and running the iconic The Brunswick Hotel – untimely ripped from the Brunswick nightlife scene in 2018.
“There was a lot of fighting around the Brunny.” Frankie said. “Who pays for what, what insurance would cover. Basically, it came out that the landlord didn’t really want us in there. We sat on our hands, waiting, for over a year. It was a pretty shit time.
But that’s how we stumbled on here (The Bergy). We’d be walking past it every day and see the ‘For Lease’ sign. This place basically started because the Brunny was shut – it was a side project while the Brunny was getting fixed.”
But from a side project, the bar has made a life of its own. With that the owners learned dealing with the Brunny, they handle all their own legal and accounting at The Bergy. Much like those of us who used to frequent the Brunny until 5am…The Bergy is a bit older and wiser now and it sure knows how to have a good time.
If you want to check out any events happening at Bergy you can visit out our Events page.