If you’re thinking Richmond’s latest 200-seat mega bar, Fargo and Co, sounds more like a place to store money than spend it, give yourself a pat on the back. Before it was a bar this 1907 heritage building was a bank.
Owner Publican Group has maintained the feeling of a grand bank, restoring the iconic Swan Street red-brick facade and adding some nifty decor inside, such as indoor plants, a big glistening chandelier and very bank-teller-y green-and-gold desk lamps on top of the Art Deco-style tiled bar. Proceed up the brass railing staircase to a second-level bar and massive rooftop terrace for more of this.
Dylan Evans (ex-State of Grace, Kid Boston) heads the kitchen with upscale but unfussy pub-grub dishes, including smoked free-range grandmother ham with truffle potato salad and sourdough bread, or 180-gram hanger steak with black cabbage and seaweed butter.
Beer and wine might be enough, but if you’re looking to make a larger deposit go for one of its oddly alluring signature cocktails. This includes The Loomis Fargo, with Macallan and Laphroaig whisky in a smoking (literally) balloon glass garnished with a slice of honeycomb. Or you might want to “invest in shares” – for groups of two to four, as the menu advises – with either The Joint Account jug (rum, lime, cherry and pineapple juice and maple syrup) or the Notorious G&T (with tonic foam and Campari dust).
There are roughly 175 licenced food-and-drink venues in Richmond, so it can be hard for a new place to stand out.
But Fargo and Co has devised a solution. Pop in from 11am on Sunday for a three-hour “bottomless brunch” that offers all-you-can-drink prosecco and Mimosas, plus breakfast goodies such as toasted-oat and mixed-seed granola with yoghurt sorbet. And corn croquettes with flaked confit salmon.
"Bottomless brunch is one of my favourite things to do in New York – I love the vibe it brings to your Sunday session," says venue manager Bobby Corbett.
Think of it as a party brunch.
Fargo and Co
216 Swan Street, Richmond
(03) 8609 7270
Wed & Thu 4pm–11pm
Fri & Sat 11am–1am