A brick pub standing sentry on a Melbourne corner is a familiar sight, but the exterior rarely tells the story of its many lives. Built in the 1860s, The Hack in Port Melbourne has gone through several iterations, from classic pub to Irish pub to upmarket function venue.
Walk in today and you’ll find a bright and spacious bar with light-wood tables, leather couches and polished wood floors. Peach-coloured walls, colourful artwork, a neon sign and an installation of Edison bulbs on the ceiling up the contemporary quotient. It’s playful, fresh and modern, designed by Collingwood-based Pocketbeagle.
The owners wanted to create a pub, bar and lounge room that was different to everything else in the area. Hack started out as a brewing company, and a brewpub was the original plan for the space, but the team decided they wanted to fill it with people, not tanks.
There’s one Hack beer pouring at the pub (made at Holgate in Woodend), with a lager to be added soon. Nineteen other taps rotate craft beers, cocktails (Espresso Martinis included) and prosecco.
The cocktail list includes a mimosa made with Melbourne Moonshine (distilled just a few streets away), prosecco, cider, orange juice and peach liqueur.
Kevin Dick, who spent time at several Andrew McConnell restaurants including Cutler & Co and now-closed 312 and Golden Fields, as well as London’s upscale Hix Soho, is in the kitchen with his American-barbeque project Limp Brisket.