Located in the basement of the Punch Lane building, Martin Pirc’s small bar Juliet champions female winemakers, distillers and cheese producers from Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Outside Juliet, a pink neon sign signifies the bar is open. Down below, dry-aging meat cabinets, slicers and temperature-controlled wine fridges are on display, allowing guests to feel a part of what’s usually behind-the-scenes action.
The interior by Rabindra Naidoo marries classic European design with a contemporary Melbourne sleekness. It’s casual, but intimate, with oak panelling, a corner fireplace, polished concrete floors and a polished dark-wood bar with a pink neon glow running the length of it.
Make note of the lights: those hanging are made from hand-blown glass, and a custom-made contemporary chandelier looks more like art than fixture. Steel wine racks, chairs and trolleys were handmade by Paul Dodd of Shush Industries.
Alongside wine and cocktails, you can order a range of cheese and charcuterie boards, as well as small plates such as the vitello tonnato and sardines coated in semolina and pan-fried.
Raclette comes from Tasmania’s Heidi Farm. The cheese is melted then scraped at your table, to cover pickles or meat skewers.