True to the character of West End, Lock’n’Load Bistro maintains the right measure of eccentricity to appeal to the local crowd. A lot has changed since its first brew was poured in 2006, but a laid-back atmosphere has seen this bar remain a neighbourhood favourite.
Brothers Lachlan and Duncan Bird – who are also behind the Valley’s Woolly Mammoth Alehouse – have succeeded in creating a casual, friendly bar like a higgledy-piggledy front room. But there’s more.
From outside, the heritage-listed building looks like a small bar, but this gives way to a restaurant, a balcony with a street view and an outdoor garden to bask in.
In the bar, which is lined with flock wallpaper, there’s live music four nights a week and a small dance floor. The extensive drinks list sees big-name beers such as Tooheys line up alongside craftier labels, cocktails and jugs of Pimms.
The restaurant dishes up food that’s a cut above standard pub fare. Choose from mains such as braised beef tacos and housemade gnocchi, or take it easy with tapas-style dishes. On Saturdays there's bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys and other boozy brunch staples.