Joe Taylor began as a pop-up bar in the summer of 2013. Named for the original sign still sitting above the doorway – an old tailor in the early 1900s – it sits between pizza restaurant Oskar and café Hot Poppy on Errol Street in North Melbourne. Joe Taylor is a beautiful bar and restaurant with shelves stocked with almost any kind of drink you can imagine. The small staff is from impressive backgrounds – The Toff, Cookie, Ferdydurke – some are also competition bartenders.
The cocktail menu is an impressive two-page spread of seasonal drinks that exhibit Joe Taylor’s flair for mixing, but there is also a specials board that changes weekly. If you can’t find exactly what you’re feeling on the menu, one of the clever bartenders will happily custom-make a cocktail to suit your tastes. It has rotating beers on tap and a large wine list to boot.
With a full restaurant kitchen added to the venue in 2015, the menu includes a range of French bites for sharing – pâté, charcuterie, carpaccio, croquettes and even a crème brûlée – all made on site, with a range of cheeses to choose from as well. There are of course larger dishes for those who are too excited to share available Thursday to Saturday.
Joe Taylor is a warm and inviting watering hole, with staff respectful of whether you want to interact, or just be alone. If you’re into a more private experience, there is a more intimate back room, or a small courtyard.