South Melbourne’s Golden Fleece Hotel was first licensed in 1872. And while it’s had a few reincarnations over the years, the latest might be its most dramatic.
It’s been taken over by Isaac Constantine and Zachary Riggs – founders of Chapel Street dive bar Two Wrongs – and turned into a Greek Islands-inspired paradise. The top-to-toe renovation channels Santorini’s signature white stone buildings.
Entering off Montague Street, you’ll find curvaceous, stone-look tables, booths and walls (with alcoves filled with ornate vases and ceramics, and all sorts of cacti). There’s also an adjoining bottle shop where the walls are lined with vino you can take away.
A level up the colourful mosaic-tiled stairwell is a darker, moodier space with jet-black booths (contrasting against flashes of red brick), as well as a pool table and DJ booth.
But on the rooftop is where you’ll feel most transported, as the sun beams down on the same kind of stone-look surrounds as on the ground level. Sip a fun pét-nat or go for a spritz made with Four Pillars Olive Leaf gin, Fever-Tree blood-orange soda and lemon.
The menu is similarly Mediterranean. Among the highlights: ooey-gooey saganaki, fluffy fish-roe dip, salt-and-pepper calamari, and around 10 pastas and pizzas. But you’ll also find classic pub grub like parmas, chargrilled steaks and racks of lamb.
Golden Fleece Hotel
120 Montague Street, South Melbourne
Mon & Tue 12pm–11pm
Wed to Sat 12pm–1am