Walking through Brunswick Street cocktail bar Polly, past its lavish velvet and oil paintings, is a strange warm up to watching the footy.
But at the back of that room and up a staircase is where you’ll find The Roy, a cocktail and sports bar from the owners of Polly. The space was an old, dilapidated two-bedroom apartment.
Cocktails, fine liquor, obscure beer and sport aren’t obvious bedfellows, but it works here. And although there's a neon Budweiser sign, don’t expect buckets of Budweiser and wings.
You’ll find simple Furphy Refreshing Ale on tap but more adventurous drinkers can try a Du Mont Blanc au Genepi Dolin, a wheat beer bolstered by genepi – a member of the wormwood family of herbs that are the backbone of absinthe.
They’re keeping it simple on the food front, with pies from Princes Pies.
The bar’s walls have been stripped back to brick and are dotted with pieces of sporting memorabilia. The team spent months trawling online auction sites to find commemorative jerseys and vintage beer coasters. A highlight of the fit-out is the jukebox.
Old footy magazines have been arranged into a collage in the smokers’ area – the ’70s and ’80s haircuts on display are magnificent.