Ovolo South Yarra is gearing up to launch an underground bar as part of its food and beverage footprint come 1 July.

The entry to Backroom adjoins plant-based restaurant Lona Misa and sees a concrete door illuminated by a neon martini glass.

Guests will descend a staircase to discover the 45-seat venue which will only open on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Backroom will largely be a collaborative space that will see beverage brands such as Regal Rogue take over the space on a four-week roster.

Ovolo’s Group Creative Drinks Director Andrea Gualdi is overseeing the drinks menu alongside Bar Manager Jordan Tredennick, and says the venue is very much a team effort.

“With the launch of Backroom, we wanted to flip the concept of a bar on its head, providing a platform for these brands to shine,” Gualdi explains.

“The product comes first and sets our team the exciting creative challenge of reinventing our food and beverage menus with each new collaboration, drawing inspiration from what these brands are all about – their unique flavour profiles, heritage and ethos.”

Launch cocktails include the Wild Rose Ricky (Wild Rose vermouth, Feels Vivify [coconut, turmeric and ginger] and Capi soda) and a Negroni.

Ian Curley, group creative culinary director, has worked with Lona Misa’s Executive Chef Isa Raku to design a vegetarian menu.

Snacks cover potato bread with Vegemite butter and shiitake anchovies; fried artichoke hearts with Calabrian chilli pesto and pickled watermelon and pizza with onion, truffle mushroom duxelles and sage.

Backroom will open at 4:30pm on Friday 1 July.