Hightail occupies the ground level of a four-tower office complex at the western end of Collins Street. It’s a spin-off of Welcome to Thornbury – a beer garden where the central bar is surrounded by six rotating food trucks.
“We thought, we obviously can’t get food trucks into the building, so how can we do this a bit differently,” says Daragh Kan, one of Hightail’s owners.
The answer is a sprawling casual diner with two bars and three separate kitchens – A Belle’s, a Mr Burger and a Super Taco.
“The idea was to create an escape: a place [where people] can get away from the office,” Kan says. “You can be sitting upstairs behind a computer and you take a few steps downstairs and here you are in a completely different space.”
The enormous venue has been designed to channel an oasis, with hanging plants and murals of jungle flora and fauna behind each bar. The floor and ceiling designs are inspired by topographical maps, with mountain-like light fixtures and a blue grid frame that obscures the ceiling’s exposed pipes and vents – a pattern mirrored on the floor. Mimicking a stream, blue lines on the carpet wind through the venue’s almost-separate rooms, which are divided by low walls and booths.
“It was really important for us to break the big, open square up, we didn’t want this long bar where you can see everybody,” he says. Hightail aims to cater to any office worker, from junior-level staff through to c-suite executives.
“You don’t want to be sitting down and go, ‘Oh shit there’s my boss and he’s watching me have a drink.’ There are enough private places to escape to.”
Alongside the three mini-restaurants, the bar serves local wines by the glass and16 easy-drinking beers poured from 64 taps, some of which will be dedicated to cocktails by Will Vincent (formerly the Bridge Hotel and Whiteheart).
Kan has debuted the 100 Orders app at Hightail, which works like UberEats, but within Hightail. Download it, then order a burrito bowl or burger or beer on your phone, to be delivered straight to your table. It’ll be a welcome ordering option considering the venue is licensed for close to 1000 people.
“You don’t have to get up, you can stay here the whole night and not have to worry about the lines,” says Kan.
Workers can hightail it out of the office early for “Appy Hour” between 3.30pm and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands
(03) 9982 1800
Mon & Tue 11am–10pm
Thu & Fri 11am–12.30am