Taking inspiration from imagined dive bars American sailors might wander into after weeks at sea might seem like a bit of a strange angle, but in the case of Carlton’s newest addition to the bar scene, it works pretty brilliantly.
The Beaufort offers everything the essential bar in port should: a traditional but exceptional menu, great drinks, friendly and knowledgeable staff, as well as its own little quirks.
The brainchild of Melbourne bar aficionado and Broadsheet nightlife writer Dave Kerr (also formerly of The Woods of Windsor, Sweatshop, Little Press, and The Broadsheet Bar), the idea for The Beaufort came about when Kerr’s love of nautical knick knacks and eBay started to get a little out of control. So when it came time to put the project into action, Kerr decided “to create the type of bar old mariners would hang at after a long day of trawling the bay.
“We always wanted a dive bar that facilitated fun, played rock, encouraged a bit of debauchery, but at the same time delivered an outstanding product,” he continues. And with the help of good friend and designer Rhys Gorgol from The Company You Keep, The Beaufort is doing just that.
Aside from the free pretzels, which should really be enough to draw anyone to a stool, the selections of beers, cocktails and the outstanding menu will leave you in states of deep fried rhapsody. For the non-meat lovers of this world, Kerr offers up two of the greatest words ever put together: ‘guilty vegetarian’. Think deep fried pickles, a range of burgers and other staple Americana classics, as well as gluten free options to boot, all remaining “super affordable and approachable”.
If the hand-cut ice and promise of live bands isn’t what will make you a regular, the promise that you can one day carve your name into the bar is definitely another. With plans for greater expansion, lunch and dinner service and a once-a-month hair cutting service, The Beaufort is sure to be the new staple in every inner-sailor’s diet.
421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 8171
Tues to Sat 5pm–1pm