After more than a year of red tape and building-code bureaucracy the team behind North Fitzroy’s much-loved bistro Neighbourhood Wine is almost ready to open its new Brunswick East wine bar, Old Palm Liquor.
“It’s been a bit of a saga. But we’ve been on-site building for two or three months,” co-owner Simon Denman tells Broadsheet.
Old Palm Liquor will do what Neighbourhood Wine does best: flavourful dishes that let good produce speak for itself, and an impeccable globetrotting wine list. But this time it will be packaged in a slightly more casual format.
Neighbourhood Wine has developed a solid reputation for its menu thanks to chef and co-owner Almay Jordaan’s talents. But at Old Palm Liquor Jordaan will shift her focus to support Denman’s new wine list, put together from a 380-bottle climate-controlled wine cellar.
Jordaan’s menu will largely be prepared on a 1.6-metre parilla char grill, so expect woodfired snacks to support ample low-intervention and biodynamic drops.
“It’ll be pared back and champion good ingredients. Minimal fuss. It’s not supposed to be over-engineered, over-thought cuisine. Just good and wholesome,” says Denman.
The building – previously a small design store and workshop – has been gutted. Years of partitions have been removed to reveal raw-brick walls that will be contrasted with new dark wood panelling. To the rear of the venue there’s a large gabled roof that rises over the airy dining space, and beyond that is a courtyard. Throughout the bar there will be custom woodworking by Brunswick furniture maker and joinery outfit The Makery Club (you can see its work at Neighbourhood Wine, particularly in the Sunset Room back bar). As with Neighbourhood Wine an eclectic selection of vinyl will provide the soundtrack.
Old Palm Liquor is scheduled to open in August at 133b Lygon Street, Brunswick East.