Bouvier Bar occupies a single-fronted building in Brunswick, and from the outside it looks tiny. But once inside, it feels like the room doesn’t end, with a bar that runs more than 20-metres and doesn’t touch either wall.
The space is lamp-lit with a black-and-white-tiled floor and a work-in-progress fresco on the wall. There’s an event space upstairs and a full kitchen, although food is finished and served from behind the bar.
The bar’s owner is Adrian Richardson, chef-owner of Carlton North’s La Luna and star of television series Good Chef Bad Chef.
“It’s a New York-style bar, or East Brunswick-style bar, if I had to define it,” says Richardson of his new venue. “We’re doing great food and great booze, with great service.”
The menu is a nod to Richardson’s upbringing. He’s Italian-Australian but grew up in Malaysia, so there’s a garlic-prawn toastie as well as a roast-beef panini and house-made gnocchi. “It’s stuff that’s easy and fun,” he says, “and although I call them bar snacks, you can get really serious if you want to have a couple of dishes.”
Managers Jackson Watson (ex. Harry & Frankie) and Vue de Monde sommelier) and Lynda Horton (La Luna) have put together the drinks list. Wines are largely, although not entirely, Australian, and much of it can be ordered by the glass, carafe or bottle. There’s also wine and beer on tap, a list of classic cocktails and a selection of whisky.
Bouvier was slated to open early this year but took longer than expected because of the amount of work required to fit the venue out from scratch. But while Richardson might have “spent a bit longer getting things right”, he did get it right. “I’m really happy – quote me on that.”
159 Lygon Street, East Brunswick
Mon to Fri 4pm–late
Sat & Sun 12pm–late