Bar Ampere

Get your think and your drink on at Vernon Chalker's new inner-city bar

Welcome to the Future, drinking fans – or a 1930s version of it anyway. Vernon Chalker, quirky visionary behind Madame Brussels and Gin Palace, didn’t give himself an easy brief with Ampère: create a modern bar based on a past era that was obsessed with the future? Argh! But he’s pulled it off.

Aspects of Italian Futurist philosophy permeate the menu and dominate the décor. If you’re not au fait with socio-political movements circa 1930, all you need to know is that Futurists were a bunch of hipster revolutionaries who liked to enrage and engage the senses. While eating, they wore outfits made of sandpaper and had perfume sprayed in their faces mid-crunch to blow their enlightened minds. In short, they were nut-jobs – but great role models for a kooky bar.

They love a niche offering at this sophisticated slip of a joint. When the bar first opened last year, they had a heavy focus on vermouth and they also served breakfast. They’ve ditched brekky now, but their love of obscure herbal liquors is stronger than ever.

Ramp up your night with an aperitif of Maidenii vermouth and swing back later for bittersweet Montenegro on the rocks – it’s Italy’s version of a bedtime story. Or how about some absinthe? They have Melbourne’s biggest collection of wormwood liquor, and they serve it right. A vintage fountain equipped with tiny taps is used to drip iced water through a sugar cube and into the liquor, turning it milky white. We can’t guarantee you’ll hallucinate, but things are spacey enough here as it is.

The concrete walls are mounted with creepy glove moulds holding mining lights, and the back wall is a luminous floor-to-ceiling mosaic of backlit bottles. It’s a bit like drinking on a sci-fi film set. The terrace is consistently packed with smokers having wine-fuelled arguments, while the dark, couch-filled back room accommodates handsy couples. This is the bar for great dates – even if that date’s with a book and yourself.

Looking for pubs in Melbourne? Read our new pubs page.

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm   |  

Bar Ampere details

Address
16 Russell Pl

Melbourne 3000

Transport
Nearby Stations: Flinders St; Melbourne Central; Parliament

Telephone 03 9663 7557

Open Mon-Fri 11am-3am; Sat, Sun 4am-3pm

Bar Ampere website

Melbourne area guide

Restaurants near Bar Ampere

Neapoli

51m - Neapoli is the new dawn till bedtime eatery and wine bar by Con...

Stellini Bar

55m - Recent renovations saw Stellini Bar grow from a tiny sliver of a place to a...

Little Hunter

64m - It's all about the beast here. Even the bread comes with a condiment they...

Bars & pubs near Bar Ampere

Gin Palace

53m - Think that sipping on a chilled Martini makes you la-di-da? Well, almost two...

The Carlton Hotel

68m - You’ll never find yourself alone in the Carlton Club. Once a byword for...

Palmz

70m - Keen for a tropical escape from the city? Look no further than Palmz – a...

Other venues near Bar Ampere

JOY 94.9 HQ

34m - Melbourne's independent radio station for the gay and lesbian communities.

Pieces of Eight

51m - Piece of Eight sells handmade, limited edition jewellery and objets d’art...

Greater Union

62m - Greater Union Melbourne City has six cinemas with 35mm projection.

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus
 


© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.