It’s all jammy cocktails at this new fairytale themed bar accessed by an unmarked elevator in Noodle Kingdom. Lou Dare (ex-Amelia Shaw) and some of the Cookie clan have a two level plan for this venue. "We don't have much room upstairs," says Dare, "so we'll be playing around with a lot of siphon cocktails and things you won't expect – we want to take you down the garden path." Sounds like stranger danger to us, but we'll bite. You can also expect snacks to come out picnic styles in little baskets. Sweet!
Backgammon and tiny crumpets! Delicious Greek and Spanish wines and a waiter known in the industry as 'Bedroom Eyes'! Now we're pretty big fans of dive bars and the art of forehead-tinnie-crushing at Time Out, but there's just something about looking out at the Carlton Gardens over a wrought iron balustrade that makes the world feel just right. It's probably the chilled coupette of gin, but still.
200 tequilas! Cachaca! It’s the new South American bar being headed up by tall-drink loving Andy Griffiths of Cookie with booze-wizards Josh Crawford and Sarah Miller working the cans. You'll have to clamber almost to the top of Curtin House to get there (it's one floor below Rooftop), but it's worth the trip to see the crew making their pretty serious drinks (go a grassy sweet pea Margarita) while wearing ridiculous multi-colour tee-shirts that make them look like 1997 skater punks. Hilarious.
Listen up wine fans. This bar isn't open yet and it won't be for a few weeks, but if you've ever tried and failed to wet your whistle in South Melbourne (or if you've ever enjoyed the excellent vinous journey that is shopping at the Prince Wine Store) you'll be getting just as hot under the collar about Alex Wilcox opening a wine bar attached to the shop as we are.
We've had American speakeasies. We've had Mexican saloons. And now here's Sweetwater Inn: a 'Strayan dive bar serving lamb burgers, craft beers and quality hooch in a corrugated-iron tinged space that owner Mark Catzburg tells us "is like drinking in your dad's shed". Colour us sold!