Nick Foley has been a Camberwell local for 12 years, so he knows how long the area has needed a wine bar (and shop) like Gloria’s. “I always wanted to open up something on the strip,” he tells Broadsheet. “The area has been gagging for a new bar, but because of the dry zone we haven’t been able to – until now.” In 2021, an end to dry-zone rules gave Foley and co-owner Andrew Savvas the green light on their newest venture, on Burke Road.

The focal point of the 70-seater bar is its 180-strong wine wall, and its overseeing sommelier Norman Houghton will help you wade through all your options.

“We’re a wine bar, not a restaurant, so the wines have to ‘pop’ in the glass,” says Houghton. “Our selection allows you to go out of your comfort zone with wines that are cool and interesting” – like the fizzy and fun Happy Nat pét-nat and chilled Tropo Little Red.

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The cocktail list is short and sharp. Foley’s stand-out is the Gloria’s Spritz, which uses local distillery Three Foxes’ Sunny Arvo Aperitivo for a very sessionable result.

Food-wise, it’s suitably snacky. Build a plate from a selection of soft and hard cheeses and cured meats, all served with Ned’s bread. The smoked-paprika hummus, which is made by Savvas’s mum, comes swimming in chilli oil and topped with crunchy shallots. But for something more substantial, go for a pizza or the Greek-taverna-inspired pickled octopus.

As well as wine to go, Gloria’s offers charcuterie hampers. “If you’ve got a function or hot a date … cruise on through, grab the basket and fill it up. It’ll be ready for you in five minutes and off you go,” says Foley. The bar is conveniently located just a couple of minutes’ drive from Anderson Park, which he reckons has the best view of Melbourne’s skyline.

Occupying a former antiques-restoration store, Gloria’s has a lived-in charm. It’s intimate and warm, with deep red walls, cream travertine floors and a golden chandelier that bathes the bar in a buttery glow, while the toasty backroom is lit with a pint-sized fireplace.

But mostly, the homey feeling is thanks to the service; it feels like your friendly neighbourhood local, even if you’re not from the area. And it’s growing – by Christmas you’ll be able to soak up the sun in a courtyard, with spit-roasted meats on Sundays.

420 Burke Road, Camberwell

Tue 3pm–9.30pm
Wed & Thu 3pm–10pm
Fri & Sat 1pm–11pm
Sun 1pm–9.30pm