Bar Lune – not to be confused with Luna on Pulteney Street, nor Melbourne’s famous Lune Croissanterie – is a neighbourhood bar with locals in mind. As such, approachability is a driving factor for owners Sam Worrall-Thompson (former executive chef at Fine and Fettle and Community) and partners Toby Porter (ex-d’Arenberg), Josh De Haas (Chopping Board Catering), Tony Bales (ex-Pink Moon Saloon) and Brett Hicks-Maitland (Community).
It’s an ethos that’s reflected in their wine list (on pour in its first week was Murdoch Hill, Koerner and Porter's own Mazi Wines). The same goes for the cocktail list, which is comprised mostly of classics. The Strawberry East Side (gin, cocchi blanco, lemon, sugar, cucumber, strawberry and lime) has proved popular so far. For people who know their wine – or want to know more – a wine wall displays the higher-end drops available.
As for the food, Worrall-Thompson has designed a menu of small plates for sharing. You might see cacio e pepe with pecorino, parmesan and Gruyere; Wagyu katsu sandos; grilled scallops; soldiers piled high with barramundi, shellfish mayo, cornichon, bottarga, roe and lemon; and barbequed squid with chilli sambal and burnt lemon. Much of it is cooked over charcoal.
The venue, which sits in the former Saha site (whose owners moved location after a kitchen fire in late 2019), doesn’t reveal much about its previous life. The formerly bright, airy interior has made way for a sleek space – designed by interior architect Georgie Shepherd – with dark blue timber, terrazzo benches, mustard bar stools and brown tiles.
Although one wall still divides the space, a few others have been removed to make way for a main seating area. On quieter nights, a fabric partition can be pulled across to create a more intimate bar setting – which is ideal for interactions between staff and customers. In the warm months, the driveway adjoining the building becomes a laneway of sorts with outdoor seating.