This Melbourne bar champions women

08 September, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

Opening in April this year in the basement under CBD restaurant and wine bar Punch Lane, Juliet Melbourne’s drinks list is carefully curated, championing wine, spirits and other produce made by women.

Currently highlighted is Corrina Wright from McLaren Vale, who has four wines on the list under the label Oliver’s Taranga, each made from grapes grown on her family’s vineyard.

Advertisement

“The hospitality industry is one where women often do not receive the recognition they deserve. Our goal is to showcase their hard work and evolve our menu over time so those who visit Juliet will get to sample and learn about an array of local and international female-created products, and — if they get their timing right — maybe even meet the maker,” says owner, Martin Pirc.

The cocktail list includes the Elderflower Vespa with white light vodka, cocchi Americano, St Germain elderflower, orange and lemon and a twisted Old Fashioned with Esponlon Reposado tequila, agave, chocolate bitters and grapefruit.

Advertisement

Chef Gabriel Alonso’s menu is designed to be shared and complements the drinks offering. A series of small plates features South Australian pan-fried sardines with a herbed remoulade; vitello tonnato with anchovies, fermented black garlic, quail eggs and olives; soffrito, caciocavallo and parmesan stuffed zucchinis finished with truffle pecorino.

Charcuterie from the dry-age meat cabinet is also available, alongside a selection of cheese including a raclette, which is melted and freshly shaved at the table.

Advertisement

The interior design throws back to the 1870s, when the area was Melbourne’s first ‘red light district’. A pink neon stripe runs the length of the bar, while bespoke, handblown chandeliers, Danish chairs and couches, and a fireplace add warmth. The 70-seater venue can cater for up to 100 guests with standing space.

“We’ve made it as welcoming as possible and seen it be enjoyed by many different groups – from couples on dates to corporates who want to book it out in its entirety,” says Pirc.

“It’s the sort of place where you could imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway speaking in hushed tones by the fireplace, or, fast-forward to groups of millenials Snapchatting and dancing into the early hours.”

Juliet Melbourne is open Thursday—Saturday from 5pm to late and can also be hired in its entirety at other times.