The best little bar that you may not have a clue about…
NORTH v SOUTH
Now I’m not one to start fanning the flames of north side / south side Melbourne animosity (ps North Side is scientifically proven to be bettererer), but I am the first to admit that while I’m a big fan of the plaid-shirt-wearing-fixie-biking-riding-no-lactose-no-gluten-extra-soy Brunswick sect, it’s pretty freaking hard to beat the allure of Chapel Street and its combination of pretty young people and bargain basement priced drinks, hopefully predominantly energy drink based.
Probably due to the above reasons and the fact that Melbourne CBD is a giant neon speedbump in the way of any quick north/south side travel (or just try Punt Road, I dare you), it seems that most bars in Melbourne are generally populated by those who live in the surrounding region.
While this is usually a guarantee of a reasonably homogeneous crowd (without the potential problems that closely confined biker gangs and vegan hippies could present), it does mean that some of you dear readers may miss out on the quiet little bars that make a oh-my-god-I-spent-how-much hangover worth bearing.
One such gem is Gerald’s Bar, a north side institution that is unfortunately placed in Rathdowne Village next to La Porchetta, home of the world’s worst mix of facsimile Italian and bumbag clad ‘let’s take photos of the trams’ tourists.
Behind lace curtains and the daily menu board with delicious food options (suggestion, if they have a variation on a theme of an Ice-cream Sandwich that day, throw caution and increased cholesterol to the wind and get three) lies a perfect little retreat bar, that makes up for its lack of dubstep, jager bombs, fake tans and other trappings of large bars in favour of an awesome wine list, very fine cocktails and well curated vinyl based tunes.
If in doubt as to what to imbibe, simply ask one of the good-looking bar staff to provide a recommendation, which can often result in a glass of something rather special.
Awarded not only best bar in Melbourne for a number of years, but also an inductee into The Age Good Bar Guide Hall of Fame, Gerald’s is a pretty damn near perfect example of what can be achieved through restraint, rather than the sometimes sensory assault that can be found in other drinking holes in Melbourne.
Strongly suggested late afternoon drinking spot.
Another suggestion worth of the trek / public transport mission is Long Play, at 318 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North.