With the installation of two Airstream caravans and two Winnebago motorhomes, the former Happy Palace restaurant on Bourke Street has transformed into vibing burger bar, Grand Trailer Park Taverna.
You might forget whether or not you’re inside or outside, thanks to the coloured fairy lights strung from the ceiling and the picnic-table seating. Or, if you prefer, the group-friendly booths, situated inside the caravans. There’s less ambiguity on the balcony, due to the sweeping views of Bourke Street.
The concept comes from multi-pronged co-owner Josh Lefers (Pawn & Co bar, Big Dog Creative, East 9th Brewing Co), while the food is by partner Dani Zeini, the man behind Dandenong Pavilion and its famous burgers.
At Pavilion the beef burger was just one aspect of a menu packed with pastas, risottos and other mains. Here it’s the undisputed star, in the form of eight beef-pattie iterations and one mushroom alternative.
As you order at the bar you can spy the chefs mincing up pristine slabs of steak, three types of which go into the patties. The burgers themselves arrive on metal trays, without a cliched red plastic basket in sight. And they’re good. Really good. White bun or brioche, Swiss cheese or American, mustard or truffled cayenne mayo, you’re in for a generous range of juicy bites.
Zeini is far from a one-trick pony, though. Between hand-cut chips, mac and cheese croquettes, waffles, banana splits, and sherbet ice cream, the worst thing about Trailer Park might be your limited stomach space.
That’s also before considering the long list of alcoholic milkshakes, classic American cocktails, easy-drinking lagers and wines. Trust us, you’ll never have this much fun on a CBD picnic, no matter how nice the park is.
Grand Trailer Park Taverna
87 Bourke Street, Melbourne
(03) 9972 3699
Tue to Sat 11.30am‒late