Tucked at the end of Presgrave Place in the CBD, pint-sized cocktail spot Bar Americano has always taken its cues from Italian aperitivo culture.
The world-class cocktail bar – by Matt Bax, the maverick behind now-closed Bar Economico, Bar Exuberante and Der Raum in Richmond – is known for its tight, rotating menu of perfectly executed classics, including Negronis.
As Melbourne’s restrictions ease, it will be channelling its relaxed Naples style even more, spilling out onto the laneway with new tables and 32 seats for al fresco drinking.
“It has been our dream to make Presgrave a smelly little back alley of Naples,” says Bax, who is busily preparing to reopen on the afternoon of October 28.
Aside from the new outdoor set-up – which will operate on a first-in, first-served basis – there’ll also be three pairs of stools to book inside.
The menu is now available online (and will be accessible via QR code) for easy contactless ordering and payment, and contact tracing. It will change each week, but first up you’ll find an Aviation made with gin, fresh lemon and maraschino cherry; an Antica Fashionista (an Italian twist on an Old Fashioned); plus a handful of spritzes and highballs. Snacks are also in the works.
If all goes well in the next few months, Bax may even keep the increased outdoor capacity long-term.
“We hope logic prevails and we – along with the rest of Melbourne’s venues – can prove we are not all savages and can drink outside like adults,” he says.