Brunswick Street can get a bit frantic north of Johnston. Throwing $2 slices of pizza at your mates can be fun but sometimes you just want to chill with a decent bottle of wine.

Thankfully, the sophistication of Gertrude Street is creeping north with Amarillo, a new bar from the owners of Longplay and East Elevation backed up by ex-Andrew McConnell, the European and Dr. Morse alum.

It’s early days at Amarillo but the plans are to keep things simple, hospitable and tasty.

Freshly installed, the new venue’s kitchen is putting out mostly shared dishes: smoked eel pate, horseradish and rye crackers; or whipped buffalo ricotta, dried olive and crudites. Larger dishes are part of the plan and will be on the specials board for lunch and dinner. There’s a concise breakfast menu featuring King Brown mushrooms, stracciatella, salsa verde and sourdough.

The kitchen is complemented by classic cocktails that build an appetite, and a focus on natural and organic wine to “aid with digestion”.

Melbourne’s desire for high-concept venues doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The pop-culture-referencing mini-golf bar Holey Moley opened in April and this week saw the announcement of Bosozoku, a Japanese biker club come burger bar.

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While this makes for some exciting destination venues, the overwhelming visual stimuli can border on seizure-inducing. For those Melburnians old of soul (although not necessarily age) keen to avoid the mania, it’s worth stopping by Amarillo while you can still grab a seat. Broadsheet will have more on this soon.

149 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Wed to Fri 8am–11pm
Fri to Sun 10am–11pm