Prospect is not exactly what you’d call a drinker’s suburb. In the 1930s, the local temperance groups succeeded in preventing a liquor licence being granted along Prospect Road.
The move left the strip without a pub or watering hole for decades. But a crop of new restaurants and a dedicated wine bar have opened in recent memory along part of the 6.3-kilometre stretch of road.
Among the new places to grab a tipple is handsome pizza bar Anchovy Bandit, which opened three years ago underneath the glitzy retro cinema complex. Then, last year, the owners expanded into the next-door property with a neighbourhood deli and cafe Bottega Bandito.
Now, on the back of easing Covid-19 restrictions and as the warmer weather returns, Bottega Bandito is opening on Friday and Saturday nights.
Co-owner Alex Bennett calls the new venture, billed as Vino Bandito, a “part time wine bar”.
“During winter on a Friday and Saturday night, we couldn’t use our outdoor dining [at Anchovy Bandit] because of the weather and so we were spilling people over into the Bottega Bandito space,” Bennett tells Broadsheet.
“We really loved the vibe and we cranked the music and dimmed the lights and it was just great in there.
“So we thought we would come up with a concept through summer that’s achievable for the kitchen. We didn’t want to become a 250-seater restaurant pumping out pizzas.”
From Friday September 10, the spot at the corner of Rose Street and Prospect Road will be a place of mellow tunes and old- and new-world wines.
Staff will pour “European classics” as well as wines by locals such as BK Wines, Ngeringa, Koerner, Moorak and Alkina. Winemakers will cameo every second Friday to pour and discuss their drops.
Alongside the drinks will be a menu of bar snacks by chef Shane Wilson. Think oysters, terrine, stuffed olives and salumi – prosciutto, sopressa and mortadella – fresh off the shiny red slicer.
“I expect to see people sitting along Rose Street as the sun is setting, having some wine and a few pieces of salami waiting for their dinner booking somewhere along Prospect Road,” Bennett says.