Anyone who has been to Neighbourhood Wine in Fitzroy North will remember it as a retro, wood-panelled sanctuary on one of the less-populated stretches of Nicholson Street, full of cracking wine and spot on bistro fare.
But now Neighbourhood Wine’s owners, sommelier Simon Denman and head chef Almay Jordaan, are heading to the increasingly packed strip of Lygon Street in Brunswick East.
“We’ve got the permit, we’re just finalising the plans and basically organising all the things that make a bar come together,” Denman tells Broadsheet.
The pair sat on the site (which they’ve been using for storage) for some time, but finally decided to make the jump to opening a second venue. It sits on the western side of Lygon Street, a few doors up from Atticus Finch and over the road from Bar Idda.
New venue openings in the area seem to be coming in fast. Last month saw the unveiling of the new look Bar Romantica and later in the year Bluebonnet Barbecue will move into its new spot just over the road from Denman and Jordaan’s new bar.
Denman plans to keep the low-key, gastro-pub vibe of the pair’s first venue but with a few twists.
“The key difference will be the 20 taps. A little bit more wine on tap, as well as 15 plus beers,” says Denman
The kitchen will come equipped with a parilla grill, meaning some menu items will receive a lick of wood smoke.
The venue goes from the street front all the way through to the back laneway. Plans are to have a wine bar and restaurant in the front of the venue and to open up the back for al fresco fun.
“There’s a high-ceilinged original warehouse structure. There’s going to be a courtyard out the back with a retractable roof,” Denman says.
While the roof is being lifted, the plan is to leave the original turn-of-the-century beams in place.
Capacity is licensed for 140 patrons, with a liquor license running from 9am to 1am. The license also allows for takeaway.
The as yet unnamed venue will open at 133b Lygon Street, Brunswick East in late 2018.