Radio Bar is situated on the Nicholson Street (west) end of Gertrude Street. This pocket-sized watering hole is easy to miss despite its shopfront, which features its namesake – a transistor radio – perched in the corner of the window.
Inside the bar it’s dark and cosy, with exposed-brick walls and a dark-wood bar and tables. It's a pleasure to sit in the window at the long banquette table and people-watch as they make their way to Brunswick Street and beyond. From here you can take in the cityscape (that is, a feature on the back wall that has landmarks from Melbourne, Dubai and Tokyo making up a familiar and yet unfamiliar city skyline). And opposite that, just above a corner of the bar, are shelves that house kitsch Asian porcelain knick knacks and more radios.
The beer on tap is Kirin, which goes down a treat with a bowl of crisps. If you’re still feeling peckish there are a few pizzas on the menu, along with dips and bread, nuts or olives. There’s a leafy courtyard out the back to enjoy a glass of wine on a balmy night; choose from a selection of reds, whites or sparking.
Radio is an understated blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bar that may start as a stop-off on the way to nearby Brunswick Street, but often turns into perfect place to settle in and stay all night.