Imagine if a group of ex-private school kids got together while on vacation and came up with the genius plan of opening a members-only bar, but for the general public. Upon returning, they stashed their suitcases above the bar and raided their parents’ attics in search of vintage bric-a-brac, mounted animal heads and gilded mirrors, and the result is State of Grace. It’s not as pretentious as it sounds, though; more an eclectic mix that’s part country club, part Swiss chalet and a whole lot of hunting carnage (including a cross-dressed deer).
Set in an 1889 landmark building that formerly housed Negroni’s Bar & Grill, the bones remain but with a stunning European make-over that carries on through to the a la carte menu that features delicacies such as ricotta gnocchi with almond pesto, broccolini and baby spinach; as well as a 450g sirloin with a choice of sauces hot off the grill for the carnivores.
However, it’s downstairs where the real fun is to be had. Hidden below, find the secret key (which actually isn’t a key at all - that is the only clue we’ll give you) to the door that slides open to reveal pure opulence, where The Great Gatsby meets Moulin Rouge. Known as Fall From Grace, the cellar bar boasts an impressive drinks list, live music Thursday to Saturday and private booths for guests to relax in and (their words, not ours), get a little disgraceful.
State of Grace
477 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 8644 7110
Mon to Fri 8am-1am