The chicken parma at The Cheeky Pint is big. It’s stacked with ham and napoli. It comes with triple-cooked wedges, mayo spiked with mustard and a simple green salad. And owner Mitch Peacock says he and chef Massimo Spedaletti didn’t plan on putting it on the menu – but the people demanded it.

Beyond the parma, you’ll find dishes such as stout-infused chicken-liver pâté with house-made bread and peach chutney, and manchego, leek and porcini croquettes, where Spedaletti’s Italian heritage and experience working kitchens in Europe is on show.

There are four Cheeky Pint beers on tap and one cider, all brewed by Peacock off site.

Five more taps rotate through a mix of local and international brews, such as a limited-release cranberry gose from Kensington’s Bonehead Brewing, a wild apple cider from Willie Smith’s in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, or a pine-lime beer (a bit like a Splice) from 3 Ravens in Thornbury.

Some beer is served using a British-style hand pump, which dispenses brews at around 10 degrees, creating a thicker, creamier beer. Every now and then Peacock and the team will put on a side-by-side tasting, comparing the difference between a drink poured on a regular tap with the hand pump.

The team hopes to make beer-matched dinners an everyday experience rather than a more formal ticketed event. For $50, you can try all five of the house brews paired with dishes. Think lamb cutlet and ‘nduja (spicy spreadable salami) alongside a pale ale, and polenta chips with romesco sauce paired with a frosty cider.

The crew fitted out the venue themselves, keeping the architraves and high ceilings of the old Barkly Hotel building, and adding touches such as a chandelier made from beer bottles, and large copper pouring tanks behind the bar. It’s a stark contrast to Lentil As Anything, the pay-what-you-feel eatery that used to occupy the old Barkly Hotel, and is another example of the changing face of Footscray. Only a few doors away you’ll find Littlefoot Bar and Bar Josephine, and around the corner is Mr West.

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Updated: April 5th, 2024

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