Introducing The Storyteller

David K Schoeffel, known as the Baron, inside what will become The Storyteller.

David K Schoeffel is not the typical figure you expect to see around Deniliquin.

Usually sporting some sort of red accessory, often a fire engine red beret, Mr Schoeffel is personable, certain of himself, and very tall.

The son of local man David Schoeffel, the junior Schoeffel prefers to go by the moniker ‘the Baron’, presumably after the infamous German World War I pilot.

‘‘It was my nickname as a teacher — I used to dress entirely in red.

‘‘The other teachers called me the Baron, and then the kids started calling me that and it just stuck.’’

Mr Schoeffel purchased the Cressy St building that once housed the Deniliquin Sports Centre, colloquially known as Chappy’s after the former owner, and has been renovating the interior since late last year.

He intends to open a “luxury spirits bar” called The Storyteller.

The space won’t be entirely red in his former style, but it will likely feature a few homages to his favourite colour.

The remains of a fallen river red gum about 1.5m in diameter will be one of those, albeit in a subtler shade.

“The bar itself is made from the bark of a red gum, made entirely from one tree.

“All the shelving is made from a single tree from my property.”

The bar and shelves are being crafted at his property, just south of Deniliquin.

Locals have noticed the work going on in the shop since Mr Schoeffel started work, with the help of family and friends.

The odd piece of equipment seen through the window was causing some rumblings about town, but recently the renovation has amped up.

Mr Schoeffel is aiming for an Anzac Day long weekend opening, however it will likely be completed in stages.

“I’m pulling in every favour I don’t deserve to get it done,” he said.

He says every aspect of the bar will tie in to themes of binding, connection, performance, conversation, collaboration, arts and culture, and “the finer things”.

It all sounds a little magical, especially when it comes to talk of mixing drinks.

“It’s a luxury spirits bar - I specialise in liquor that’s on the top shelf, and I keep going up,” he says.

“I’m hoping to serve the best drinks here, not just in the town but in the next 250km surrounding here.”

Tequila is the Baron’s liquor of choice, and he hopes to one day boast the largest collection in the country.

But it’s not just about alcohol; Mr Schoeffel believes drinking is nothing without connection, hence its name: The Storyteller.

“Storytelling is an important component of this place.

“It’s a fundamental, binding thing, especially in a town where we have so much art, but not much ability to exhibit it - I want to make that excellence shine.”

He plans to exhibit visual art and provide a space for a variety of creative performances.

“There are so many gifted artists here looking to showcase their work and I want to accommodate that.”

Mr Schoeffel regularly reinvents himself - he has been a teacher, an activist, a financial services consultant in Lebanon, and a contributor on local creative pursuits.

It seems only logical his story would feature a chapter where he is the owner of a bar.

While those occupations may appear vastly different, he says they have all been in the interest of one thing.

“I have a consistent interest in helping people be together.

“So it’s not meant to be a transactional experience when people come in, but a place for them to have a more familiar experience.”