Venue Spotlight:
Can You Keep A Secret ?

Published: 1st of June 2018

I could not do what I do without the dedicated support of our Brisbane venues. Each one is unique, and behind the scenes there is always someone truly passionate about live music and the local scene. My 'Venue Spotlight’ will be an ongoing series, highlighting some of my favourite live venues in Brisbane, which I’ve had the pleasure to play at.

Tucked away in the undergrowth of Wooloongabba exists one of my favourite Brisbane bars. Can You Keep a Secret ? I hope so, because this place is pretty darn special. For those who feel they were born in the wrong decade, a night here will set you right. Upon stepping in, one’s retro dreams come to life – from the dark wooden panelling, to the orange lighting, to the scattered vintage memorabilia – it’s heaven. Not only do they put on live music several nights a week, but they also have a dedicated vintage clothes store located within the bar where you can browse and buy to your hearts content.

So, I had a chat to the owners, Ajanta & Emily, about their story:

What’s the best thing about working at CYKAS?

Probably seeing the joy we bring to people. The feedback about the venue, the vintage, the music, the vibe, just warms our heart and reminds us we’re doing the right thing. We didn’t create the bar to be “something”, it‘s a reflection of Emily and myself and we just wanted to create a space for everyone to enjoy and feel comfortable. #thisisthebarthatlovebuilt #nostrangersjustfriendswehaventmet

This is the only place I know of that is a bar, a venue and a vintage shop! Where did you come up with the idea?

We originally started out as just a shop (in Greenslopes) serving tea and coffee, like many vintage/antique shops do. We then started to branch out hiring our premises out for private functions, doing an event called ‘Vintage on the Greens’ at the bowls club, and then underground funk parties which built up a great following quite quickly. We found that “social events” were just as popular as the vintage and they kind of went hand in hand. One thing led to another and we decided it was time to “grow up” and open a proper bar.

This might be a trade secret, but, where do you find all the vintage clothes ??

Emily handpicks all the vintage from various places around Brisbane. I won’t mention any of our regular haunts cause that would be letting the secret out, but it’s everything from op shops, garage sales, deceased estates, walk ins, the list goes on. We’re one of the only vintage shops left that still hunts for items and refuses to buy in bulk from overseas. We stand for delivering high quality vintage and preferably Australian made plus don’t agree with the unsustainable side of importing goods when we have them right here. It makes it a lot harder, but Emily is a bit of a vintage wizard!

Why do you love supporting the local music scene?

What can I say... music feeds the soul! Brisbane has such incredible talent and we’ve noticed throughout the years venues either closing down or cutting out the live music side of their entertainment so it’s always been very important for us to have live music as part of our bar, and give musicians a space to play. And not just any space…a home away from home!

CYKAS is such a gem, and I am so happy to play here on a regular basis with Cigany Weaver. Be sure to check them out!

P.s. I also filmed my two latest live music videos below, in one of their back rooms. Take a peek:

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