It took Fancy Hank’s a long time to actually become fancy. When it started in 2012, it was just a barbeque and a couple of benches at Princes Park in Carlton. After a long-term pop-up at the Mercat Cross Hotel, it moved into this beautiful two-storey Art Deco building in late 2016.
The first floor features leather banquettes, simple Shaker-style furniture and a dash of marble. Upstairs there’s a rooftop bar named Good Heavens with 18 beers on tap and fun cocktails.
Owners Daragh Kan, Myles Munro (both of Welcome to Thornbury, Homeslice and Mr Burger), Mike Patrick and Kent Bell hoisted a two-and-a-half-tonne offset smoker named Puffing Billie into the centre of the dining room. Brisket, chicken, sausages, beef ribs and pork are extracted from its belly after cooking for 16 hours.
Apart from smoked meat, there’s a snack menu featuring boudin sausage; maple-glazed belly ham and red-eye mayo; and a baloney sandwich with banana ketchup. Desserts include a pie of the day; and smoked-sweet-potato casserole with house-made marshmallows.
As at the original pop-up, meat is still ordered by weight and the atmosphere is rowdy and fun. Despite this, there’s table service and a 30 wines to choose from, including many natural and two on tap, made in collaboration with Quealy Winemakers in Mornington. There are also 12 beers on tap and a serious cocktail list.