Smoke from the grill only adds to the ‘den of inequity’ vibe at this new multi-level bar strung with Chinese New Year paraphernalia and papered with old music posters. Go up to reach the all-important rooftop (if you can stand a different type of smoke) or down to try your chops at karaoke after a few of the Float On cocktails (a tequila twist on the New York Sour).
Level 1-3, 188 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Nestled next to Carnegie Station, Poco Loco is a cute new cantina fashioned from an old mechanic’s garage. It’s ready to serve up knock-off-work service in the form of tequilafied takes on the espresso martini (better than vodka) and moreish queso dip.
1b Morton Avenue, Carnegie
Named for one of the owners’ newborn sons, Little Jax is an easy sell for the RMIT uni crowd. They’ve got interesting tap beers, an Easey’s menu (so burgers, hot dogs, three types of mac ‘n’cheese!), a balcony and DJ booth all lit up in amber.
Level 1, 401 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Formerly Chiquito and Co, this bar has transformed into two distinct spaces. There’s Chiquito a South American influenced lounge. And Chiquita, a pastel and patterned cocktail bar upstairs.
275 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
A new low-key local for the Northsiders. Serving up a purple pool table, snacks from nearby Preston Market and one of the most beautiful undulating timber bars we’ve seen.
641 Plenty Road, Preston
The Mexican wave continues. But we don’t mind because aside from the liquid stuff, Si Senorita serves up deep fried tequila shots. That is cake. Soaked in tequila. And fried. You’re on your way there already aren’t you?
312 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
An industrial suburban distillery for the East, Tiny Bear makes a variety of gins alongside unfiltered limoncello and an ace coffee liqueur. The cellar door is open for tastings on weekends.
7/10 Henderson Road, Knoxfield
Online purveyors of good wine, Magnum & Queens have come to real life with the opening of their first bricks and mortar bottle shop (pictured on cover by Andy Vukosav). Designed by studio studio, the space is far more refined than your average bottle-o and they stock the buyable drinking accouterments to match.
274-276 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
A pop-up bar for ski bunnies. Mont Plonk brings good wintry things like fondue, mulled wine, spiked hot chocolate, vodka luges and shot-skis (literally shots served on skis) to the terrace of Melbourne Public. Open until August 26.
11 Dukes Walk, South Wharf
This new Italian-influenced distillery and cellar door is making limonello from their own home-grown lemons and grappa from King Valley Prosecco. There’s estate wine, coffee grappa and liquors of lime, orange, liquorice and chocolate to try out among breathtaking surrounds too.
54-56 Brumbys Road, Warrandyte South
Just like the name, this new bar likes to keep things a little incognito, speakeasy style. Too bad, you can’t help but notice really good cocktails like their coffee and caramelised banana-tipple The Pancake Breakfast.
93 Buckley Street, Seddon
BARS NEWS (+ other things we’d like to drink in July): Composed by Maidenii Vermouth founders Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus, The Book of Vermouth is a spritzy bible overflowing with fortified recipes and aperitif expertise. / Macedon Ranges distillery Big Tree has unleashed its debut release: a trio of dry, navy strength and seasonal gins. / Starward has collab’d with Diemen’s to create a limited edition hot sauce out of whiskey-barrel-aged chillis. It’s called Starblazer – they say you can even use it in cocktails! / Call us superficial, but when gin looks this good we can’t help but covet it. Take a gander at Adelaide Hills’ pretty-in-peach 78 Degrees Sunset Gin. / Sullivans Cove is setting records. A rare bottle of their American Oak Single Cask sold at auction for £6600 for charity; the highest ever bid price for an Australian whiskey.
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