Housed in a historic corner building, this new diminutive, lane’s-edge bar was once home to the Kirk’s Bazaar Hotel, one of Melbourne CBD’s earliest pubs.

The project is a joint partnership between Ian Curley (long-time executive chef of The European) and co-owners Con Christopoulos and Joshua Brisbane. Kirk’s Wine Bar has confidently taken on a part of the city that, nowadays, is better known for tourist traps and spruikers.

It’s a small space but the charming, lived-in aesthetic, warm service and undeniable buzz are sure to put you at ease from the get-go. What we really love is the way it effortlessly manages the balance between new-world informality and old-world sophistication. The design is inspired by 1950s artisan details and simple high quality.

Food-wise there are excellent partners for the bar’s intelligent and always interesting offering of old- and new-world wines. Whether it’s for breakfast, post-work aperitivi or something a little more substantial, chef Curley’s European-accented menu offers plenty. You’ll find beautiful imported cheeses, house-made charcuterie, the freshest oysters and a tasty range of shared dishes, such as the delightfully creamy burrata with charred leek, walnuts and smoked honey.

The cosy, convivial space fills quickly and is best suited to twos or threes, though there’s outdoor seating and the wine-filled cellar space can accommodate up to 12. A small adjoining shopfront will soon offer ready-made meals, takeaway lunches and organic cold-pressed juices too.

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Updated: October 11th, 2022

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