Good Heavens always draws a crowd. Whether it’s balmy or chilly, sunny or overcast, it’s always tough to nab a table at this perennially popular rooftop. But from today, it might get a little bit easier: Good Heavens has taken over the roof – and the building – next door that once housed Grand Trailer Park Taverna, doubling its capacity to nearly 400. Now, it’s Melbourne’s biggest rooftop bar.
“It’s a crazy mid-century office block. We thought, ‘let’s highlight that’,” co-owner Mike Patrick tells Broadsheet. There are tons of terracotta tiles underfoot and a long concrete bar, softened by touches of Australian timber. The new section of the rooftop is also weather-proof – protected, but not enclosed, by a giant angular awning. “[There are] blue skylights throughout, so it always feels like it's summer,” says Patrick.
Mismatched iron chairs add flecks of colour to the dozens of high tables, which together ensure that no one will miss a spot at knockoff drinks. Come winter, a big scene-stealing fireplace at the centre of the new area will be a nice spot to cosy up to.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
The newly created space brings an additional bar with cocktails on tap, a “pretty substantial” soon-to-launch Martini menu, and an expanded wine list. Plus, some 40 beer taps. Sister venue Fancy Hank’s, which shares a stairwell with Good Heavens, is taking care of the food, so smoked brisket party pies, salt and vinegar potato cakes, and buffalo wings with yoghurt ranch are all on the menu.
When Broadsheet visits, Good Heavens is a week out from opening. Stacks of soil and native botanicals are yet to be planted, the banquette seats are absent and the bar is waiting to be stocked with bottles. But the vision is close to being achieved, and the clear blue skies on the day seem to reflect Patrick’s optimism about the opening.
Hybrid workers, work-from-homers, reduced overall foot traffic and how that all affects the CBD’s hospo scene has been a hot topic this year, but he is bullish. “You hear a lot of stuff in the media,” explains Patrick. “But the weekends are record numbers, really. We're getting big Thursday nights on the roof, which we never had before, and then the usual Friday night for the crowds and after-work drinks as well. I believe in the city.”
The Good Heavens’ expansion is just part one. Later on this year, the group is revamping the old Grand Trailer Park space and turning it into a new concept called Springrock, which will be all about pub classics delivered “with a little bit of a twist from the smoker of Fancy Hank’s,” Patrick shares. “It’s a big project for us.”
Level 2, 79 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Mon to Sun midday-late