“A bar should do coffee, a little food and definitely a good drink,” says Baker Bros’ Co-owner Alessandro Panetta about the European-styled espresso wine bar he recently opened with his brother, Gianni.
While the brothers spent their childhoods working in their parents’ restaurants and cafes, they’re not known for their dough-kneading skills. Their surname ‘Panetta’, which loosely translates from Italian to baker, was the inspiration behind the bar’s name. Seating just 35, Panetta says the narrow space determined the design. “We wanted to create warmth through the tones of the timber and lighting. We had to make full use of the small space and be creative with it.”
The food is convenient but wholesome: sandwiches with fillings of slow-cooked lamb shoulder with roasted tomato, pea puree, rocket and herb yoghurt and made-to-order salads such as grilled chicken with radicchio, tomato and salsa verde.
Panetta explains that the menu reflects the siblings’ early hospitality experiences, “We wanted to offer restaurant meals but serve them in a relaxed and casual style.”
On the drinks side of things, coffee beans are roasted by Melbourne-based Veneziano and if you take your espresso standing at the bar instead of sitting at a table, you'll pay only $1 for it. Internationally and locally sourced wines appear alongside Italian Moretti beer and aperitivi like bellinis, negronis and espresso martinis.
Doors stay open late on Thursday and Friday nights, complemented by a simple bar menu of mushroom arancini with ricotta, a deli plate with cured meats, peppers and buffalo mozzarella and triple-cooked chips (boiled, baked and fried) with aioli and house-made tomato relish.