The bad news: Overlook is not The Shining-themed bar you want it to be.
There are no lipstick scrawls of “REDRUM” on the mirrors. There’s not even a posh Grady to charmingly suggest axe-murdering your family.
The good news, though, is that the Astor Theatre – Windsor’s 80-year-old single-screen cinema and Art Deco treasure – now has a nifty adjoining cafe and bar (named for the eerie Overlook Hotel where The Shining is set).
The site was the Astor Theatre’s original sweet shop in the 1930s. Then it was a laundromat for 30 years until the Astor was able to buy it back.
The black-and-white photo of Jack Nicholson at the ’20s party from The Shining hangs above the bar. It’s just as creepy in the light of day.
Open daily from 7am to midnight, Overlook is a clever addition to the cinema. It does coffee, Baking Bad cupcakes (vegan), Harrow & Eton pies and Doughboys Doughnuts. There’s cheese from Milk the Cow and charcuterie from D.O.C. as well. There are also good Australian spirits behind the bar – Starward Whisky, Four Pillars Gin, Melbourne Moonshine and The Everleigh’s bottled cocktails.
General manager of the Astor Zak Hepburn says he named it “Overlook” because, like the famous hotel, he finds the historic cinema has an “ethereal, transcendent quality” like “it’s always been there”.
Think about that while revisiting this.
3–5 Chapel Street, St Kilda (next to The Astor Theatre)