Rebelling against minimalism, Prudence hosts a homely clutter of lamps, tables, heavy curtains and dim lighting. Spinning records, random books, maps, Southeast Asian trinkets and old black and white movies screening on the tiny bar-side TV create a mellow feel.
A comprehensive cocktail menu – many under $10 – the chalkboard listing rotating specials, along with a long wine list and beers on tap keep thirst at bay. For the more adventurous, skilled bar tenders will concoct or recommend a drink tailored to your tastes, including flaming absinth if that’s your poison. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are on offer too, for those happy to enjoy the comfy surrounds with a cuppa.
People watch from the front room overlooking the top end of Queen Vic Market, or sit outside in the beer garden where intimate seating encourages communal conversation. Head up the narrow staircase to what resembles your grandma’s sitting room to play board games – the ideal icebreaker.
Prudence’s low-key feel is perfectly suited to its North Melbourne locale, and it’s this casual setting that keeps it busy every night of the week.