Diffusion lines are a common practice in many industries: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has the more affordable offshoot Good Clean Goop; Marc Jacobs offers Marc by Marc Jacobs as a lower-cost alternative; and Lexus is the luxury counterpart to Toyota. These offshoot businesses aren't a new concept in the restaurant world, but a recent spate of upscale Melbourne restaurants have launched casual alternatives, making it easier to stop by for a snack and a drink. Here are three to try.

Enter Via Laundry Bar

Prior to April, if you wanted to enjoy chef and owner Helly Raichura’s food, you’d have to book ahead and strap in for a multi-course meal at her 20-seat restaurant, Enter Via Laundry.

Now all you need to do is to stroll down Nicholson Street and walk into the new Enter Via Laundry Bar. At the bar, which is in the same building as the restaurant, guests are invited to enjoy snacks prepared in the main restaurant kitchen alongside cocktails designed by Tom McHugh (ex-Hazel) and inspired by Raichura’s childhood in India.

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They’re served along Indian bar snacks including nargisi kofta (Scotch eggs with spiced chicken mince) served with punchy pickled onions, bataka na bhajiya (potatoes fried in gram flour batter served with house-made tomato-and-pineapple ketchup) and falooda, a layered dessert-drink hybrid that Raichura makes with ice-cream, house-made rose syrup, basil seed, vermicelli, cashews, jelly and fruit.

Bar Olo

Anthony Scutella and Alison Foley opened this casual counterpart to their much-loved Italian institution Scopri.

The laid-back 40-seater is less than a minute’s walk down Nicholson Street from Scopri, a 14-year-old restaurant inspired by a trip Scutella and Foley took to Piedmont in north-western Italy.

The new bar is also heavily influenced by Piedmont – it’s named after the region’s wine-producing commune of Barolo. The opening menu features regional dishes such as vitello tonnato (cold sliced veal in a creamy tuna sauce) and agnolotti del plin with sugo d’arrosto (small ravioli with a sauce made from drippings). It also has one of the best aperitivo hours in town.

Enoteca Zingara

In December last year, the Alta Trattoria team took over the space that formerly housed Rum Diary (and before that, Gypsy Bar) on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

They dug away all the plasterboard and renovated the space to open Enoteca Zingara.

Both Alta Trattoria and Enoteca Zingara are true to their Italian names: a trattoria is typically a neighbourhood restaurant, and an enoteca is used to describe an elevated wine shop and bar with great snacks.

Chef McKay Wilday oversees the menu at Zingara (as he does at Alta). Everything is prepared in Alta’s kitchen but is finished and plated in front of you at the bar. Aperitivo hour runs from 4pm to 5pm and includes $6 Peronis and $6 Camparis served alongside complimentary snacks that might include hot salami, or potato and rosemary focaccia.

There are bigger bites too, including braised rabbit with tonnato, and pork-rib meatballs made using a recipe from Wilday’s partner’s nonna.

“Alta is how I like to dine, Enoteca is how I like to drink and snack, and then accidentally stay for dinner,” co-owner James Tait told Broadsheet.

Additional reporting by Jo Rittey.