Scott Pickett’s new laid-back Northcote bistro, a Mexican takeover at one of Fitzroy’s best all-day diners, a 1980s-prom photo op for dashing dogs, and what some might see as a challenge to watch 24-hours of classic and cult films. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser will be checking out this month.
Responsible enough to own a pet, but childish enough to want to put silly hats on it? Then get yourself (and your pup) along to Lon Gallery in Collingwood, which will be transformed into the junior prom of your dog’s dreams for one day only by Heather Lighton of Dog Photog Studios. Dust off your miniature puffy-sleeved taffeta gown – it’s showtime.
Speaking of dogs, you can’t swing a whippet in this town without hitting a disco ball. They’re everywhere. They’re in our bars and restaurants, at gigs and dangling precariously from undernourished trees in share house backyards. Now – at long last – they’ve made their way to plant sales. For two nights, north-side brewery and bar The Mill will become a dance floor jungle oasis with the help of botanical vendor Wandering Jungle. Among the fiddle-leaf figs, monsteras, palms and cacti you’ll find a few rare species, and plenty of pizza and beer. You might even pick up a disco ball or two for your car, or perhaps your laundry.
Every Tuesday morning, Broadsheet’s editorial director and I grab a booth at Archie’s All Day, a batch brew, an almond chai, and – if we’re feeling wild – scrambled eggs on gluten-free toast. But Archie’s is about to transform, as celebrated Mexican chef Julio Aguilera takes over the Fitzroy kitchen for a six-day pop-up. Aguilera, formerly of San Francisco's Michelin-starred restaurant Saison, is killing time before opening a new spot, Viento, in Mexico later this year. On the playful seven-course dinner menu you’ll find coconut and chorizo kingfish ceviche, and Vegemite and onion doughnuts.
At Christian Marclay’s The Clock, an addictive, 24-hour-long film screening free at ACMI, everyone sees the work differently, depending on your mood, what time you start watching, how long you stay, and how much of the content – clips from Back to the Future, Office Space, The Twilight Zone and hundreds more painstakingly pieced together to reflect real time – you recognise. The goal isn’t to binge watch the whole thing, but to craft your own experience.
Last August, celebrated chef Scott Pickett’s fine diner ESP closed. Just under two weeks ago, sister restaurant Estelle Bistro followed. But there are grand plans in place. Pickett’s team has knocked out the wall separating the two Northcote properties and on the 8th he’ll launch a new diner: Estelle. It’ll be more laid-back than ESP, with “less tricked-up” food. Goodbye smoked wallaby and sea urchin custard, hello bar snacks and leisurely Sunday roasts.
Snags. Giver of life during mind-numbing trips to Bunnings, creator of controversy due to onion placement at Bunnings, and honestly, the only reason I’ve really ever been to Bunnings. On the 9th and 10th, the worlds of Yarra Valley winery Innocent Bystander and gourmet butcher The Beef Joint will come crashing together to celebrate all things sausage-centric. There’ll be snag masterclasses, sausage-topped pizzas, fabulous wine and the chance to win a meat tray.
It’s not quite The OC’s Bait Shop, where the tickets are always plentiful and the bands are never too loud to talk over, but Death Cab for Cutie fans have been so eager to nab tickets for the emotive-rock legends' gig at Hamer Hall a second show has been announced. Ben Gibbard’s eight-time Grammy-nominated indie tour de force has nine studio albums under their belt, and now they’re touring Australia, playing tunes spanning their 22-year career. There’s a reason they’re Seth Cohen’s favourite band, still going strong after all these years.
Seddon’s Lay Low bar, with its unmarked door, and dim, narrow entrance, is moody and a little bit mysterious. Peachy Keen, a summer pop-up container bar by Lay Low’s owners, might be its arch nemesis. It’s an unapologetic celebration of sunshine: a sprawling, grassy space dotted with umbrellas, giant Jenga sets and hula hoops. On the menu, local craft brews, Cappelletti spritzes and three types of punch (watermelon, Pampelle and green tea).