Just inside the slick, white-walled shopfront of clothing store Brixton Pound you’ll find a nondescript door painted charcoal grey. There is no signage, but through that door and at the end of a dark, narrow corridor is Lay Low Bar.
Inside, it’s spacious without being cavernous thanks to polished-concrete flooring and warm lighting. There’s a long bar, upholstered bench seats line the walls, and a large window gives a glimpse of the alley behind. A cocktail-inspired mural is by local artist Hannah Simpkin, and plants hang from the ceiling.
The cocktails are designed by Oscar Eastman (ex-Eau De Vie), who approached the drinks list with plans to add quirk and local flavour while not being too off the wall.
“It’s a bit of a neighbourhood bar, fringing on suburban bar, but we still wanted to do something that was pretty unusual,” Eastman says. “We’ve got a pretty diverse menu with some pretty odd flavours.”
Vietnamese mint and ginger beer are charged with bourbon in the Seddon Sling; lapsang souchong tea is spiked with Melbourne Moonshine, sherry and bitter orange in the Little Smoke. Both the tea and mint come from nearby Footscray Market. Tap beer is from local brewers Hop Nation, whose pale ale makes it into the Beerlini, a play on the classic Bellini.
“[We’re using] preserved ingredients as well [because] we don’t have any citrus on the cocktail menu,” Eastman says. “Everything on the menu is designed to be pretty much zero waste.”
The bar is owned by friends Colin Wood and Miles Williamsz, and the design and build is by Williamsz’s company The Inside Project. Leather menus and coasters are from nearby Buckley’s Leather, and bar snacks are from Brotherhood Yiros & Grill, a hole-in-the-wall Greek takeaway spot making handmade pita, spanakopita and loaded fries.
Lay Low Bar
93 Buckley Street, Seddon
Wed & Thu 5pm–10pm
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on July 10, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.