On Saturday nights, the co-owner and manager of Jimmy’s Tap & Barrel is more likely to be found in a pair of wrestling tights than behind the his bar.
“The Smash Hit” Joel Bateman – as he’s known in the ring – launched his Ascot Vale bar in February 2017 and named it after his adopted senior greyhound, Jimmy.
Jimmy’s Tap & Barrel focuses on craft beer and is about a good drink in an unpretentious environment.
Formerly the Reunion Bar, its previously-bright red decor has been toned down. An exposed brick wall leads your eye to a giant skull mural on the back wall, which was painted by tattoo and graffiti artist Adrian Dominic. Bateman gave him free reign on the design.
There are plenty of places to perch at the bar for a chat, and the raised back half of the room creates a division for quieter conversation. A beer garden is in planning, and the footpath tables are great for watching the happenings on Union Road.
It carries whisky from Tasmania's Nant and Lark distilleries, and Scottish brands such as Benromach and Port Askaig. Gin is almost all Australian with bottles from Animus and Antipodes. Wine is by supplier Negotiants.