It’s a song the thirsty residents of Surrey Hills waited a long time to hear. The suburb – one of Melbourne’s few dry zones – got a wine bar in August 2017, from the team behind Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and the Alps.
To get around the dry-zone restrictions, The Hills serves pizzas alongside cheese, charcuterie, terrines and salmon gravlax – snacks found in the group’s other bars.
Still, wine is the focus. A by-the-glass list of 20 wines changes weekly, and there are around 200 options by the bottle.
Aesthetically, The Hills is fitted out with the same steel and pine furniture (custom-made by I Am Not Mason) as the other bars, but there’s more seating. Warmth comes from olive-green subway tiles, exposed brick walls, dark wooden floors and a blazing wood heater, designed by Nicola Cortese in collaboration with I Am Not Mason.
Branding, including an image of The Sound of Music’s Julie Andrews twirling on the far wall, is the work of design studio Wildhen.