Wine bar and bottle shop One Trick Pony (OTP) is a radical departure from the big, bold barbeque Chris Terlikar is known for. But it’s also a homecoming of sorts for the chef. He’s back in the 140-year-old corner pub he moved Bluebonnet to in 2016 after the original Collingwood restaurant was gutted by fire the year before.

When Bluebonnet left Fitzroy North, the old pub was turned into townhouses, leaving enough of a corner space for a neighbourhood wine bar. The shell Terlikar took over was transformed by IF Architecture and builders Rosa & Co into a beautiful wood-floored, cream-coloured space where the curves of the walls, columns and scalloped shelving make the shape of the building come alive. Odd-shaped mirrors and bespoke rail lighting with spherical lampshades hint at art deco, while the elegant bar is elephant-grey marble.

Booze manager Ben Skipper will probably be the first person you see when you arrive. He’s curated wines for Vue de Monde, Estelle and Lagoon Dining, so you know you’re in good hands in both the wine shop and the wine bar it leads to. But that’s not all it leads to– there’s a tiny bluestone cellar with perfect humidity and temperature for cellaring superior wines. If you’re moving on from wine, order a classic cocktail from the chrome drinks trolley, to be mixed right at your table.

Upstairs, you’ll find Terlikar in the open kitchen. He might be making mezcal mignonette, filling stringy brik pastry rolls with crème fraîche and cured trout, slicing house-made wild boar and fennel salami, or prepping the rabbit for his gnocchetti dish. The Melbourne chef is known for the smoky slabs of meat, but pre-barbeque epiphany, he was cooking bistro-style food in London and New York. Here, his ever-changing modern-Australian menu is market-driven.

The artworks painted by Terlikar’s brother Joe don’t hang on the walls – they were handpainted directly onto them. Look around to find paintings of birds, recognisable Fitzroy North residences and famous local footy heroes (with strong moustache games). The light, bright walls of the wine bar and shop are the artist’s canvas, with the idea that he will continue adding different locally inspired works as the years roll on.

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Updated: February 27th, 2024

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