Sydney’s Odd Culture Group has locked in its first Melbourne venue, which is set to open its doors this May.

Known for its minimal-intervention approach to drinks, Odd Culture currently operates its namesake Newtown restaurant and bar and bottle shop alongside pubs The Duke of Enmore, The Old Fitzroy Hotel and The Oxford Tavern.

But now, the team have decided to go a little further afield to Melbourne, securing a heritage location on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, which will be overseen by local hospitality figure Gerry Nass.

“I think there’s a place for our perspective — a bit of strangeness is usually welcomed— and diverse perspectives are what allow our industry to be so central to the lives of
people,” says CEO James Thorpe.

The Fitzroy venue is a nod to its Newtown sibling and will encompass a bar and bottle shop with less emphasis on the food front.

“The hybrid bar and bottle shop model is really difficult to pull off in New South Wales, and we never really got there from a licensing perspective in Newtown,” says Thorpe.

“We’re constantly delighted at the level of freedom in Melbourne, which empowers venues to operate in a more human-engaged and flexible way.”

Odd Culture Melbourne will offer a beverage program that largely leans towards natural wines, wild ales, fermented drinks and seasonal cocktails that are made using local ingredients.

While drinks are the main focus of the venue, but there will be a small food offering in the form of bar snacks created by Executive Chef James MacDonald, who has worked on a selection of terrines and pates as well as some riffs on the Newtown restaurant’s most popular plates.

Official opening date to come.