Friends and business partners John Koukas and Jane Besgrove realised a long-held dream just a couple of weeks ago when they opened the bar Kommune on Brunswick Street. Named after a bar the two used to frequent when they lived in Shanghai, Kommune sits in the space where Charmaine’s ice cream shop used to be.

“We’ve been talking about owning a bar for the last 10 years and been looking for about a year,” says Besgrove. “When this came up, it made sense – Brunswick Street is so energy-driven.” The tiny bar holds a collage of images of Brunswick Street down one wall with “room to add more pictures as we go along” and black umbrellas hanging upside down from the ceiling. “That’s very John,” says Besgrove referring to Koukas who designed the interior.

There is a small menu built around share plates from chef Strath Harris, while bar manager Ray Kent has written a small wine list and a selection of beers that are from little known craft brewers. There’s a cocktail menu too. If you’re walking past on a Friday night, check out the paella being made in the front window and Sundays are dedicated to beer and bratwurst, “for the locals,” says Besgrove.

Let’s see how Brunswick Street embraces Kommune.

Kommune
370 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 7029

Hours
Wed-Fri 3pm–11pm
Sat & Sun noon–11pm