Before a performance at the Arts Centre, ballet dancers will spend most of their time practicing at a barre. As for the spectators? You’re more likely to find them drinking and eating at The Barre.
It occupies the space beneath the Arts Centre spire; on the curve overlooking the Yarra and the Melbourne skyline. The venue is bright and polished, and the timber floorboards evoke the feel of a ballet studio. Wooden tables and chairs sit opposite the caramel-coloured couches against the walls, and light fixtures highlight artwork throughout the bar and restaurant.
The menu is succinct and skews European. Although items such as lobster rolls with coleslaw or the red snapper fillet in dashi soup are seasonal and constantly rotating, expect pre-show mainstays such as the charcuterie board to always feature in some form or another.
Local drops from the likes of Giant Steps and Tarrawarra Estate are prioritised on the wine list. It’s the same story for the beer selection. Every beer and cider on the menu comes from Victoria, with inner-city and regional brewers healthily represented.