You’ll know Bar Hiccup is open if the welcome mat’s outside the door. Other than that, your only clue for finding it is an inconspicuous logo on the downstairs door. Climb the staircase and you’ll be led into a space that feels like it’s been fossilised in amber since 1977.
You can see the disco decade in the vinyl chairs. In the lace curtains. In the grandfather clock. In the motel-style landscape paintings. And in the brown. So much brown.
“So far, everyone that’s come in has been like ‘oh my god that chair’, ‘oh my god that wood’ or ‘oh my god that TV’,” says co-owner Laura Attard. “The other day we had a patron video-call his mum and he was like ‘do you recognise this TV?’”
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Attard modelled the entire space after her late grandfather’s own living room, and went to great lengths to replicate it. “There are over 20 houses that we sourced everything from,” she says. “There’s a lot of meaning and love behind it.”
Once Attard and co-owner Lyndal Keys acquired the daggy decor (the flooring was a Facebook Marketplace find that they buffed and polished to shape), they sourced and installed the majority of the fit-out themselves.
The ’70s theme continues with the drinks list. Bar manager Rich Padden was given free reign by the duo to get creative. One highlight from his signature selection is the Pickles, which features Tanqueray Ten, dry vermouth, pickle juice and Chicago pickle. Other specials include the Kermit (The Muppet Show debuted in ’74), with green chartreuse, sugar, lemon and cloudy apple, and the blueberry and vodka-filled Violet Beauregarde (as seen in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). There’s also a small range of beers and half a dozen wines available by the glass or bottle.
Dolmades, the afternoon snack of choice offered by yiayias around Melbourne, are one of the many mostly cold mezze-style bites to eat. There’s also a selection of tinned seafood, from smoked mussels to sardines, all available on toast. Plus charcuterie boards, cheese platters and a terrine of the week. If you’re after something more substantial, you could always head downstairs for a quick burger at The Pickle & The Patty – Attard and Keys’ other business.
Desserts lean back into the ’70s. Be sure to try the Defiant “Egg” – a sweet twist on a devilled egg, made with sweetened milk aspic, lemon curd and whipped custard.