Laika offers a little old world glamour by the bay
There aren’t a lot of bars like Laika down St Kilda beach way. It’s a space of exotic classicism where silver-domed ceilings support chandeliers, and a stage at the front supports a piano that gets its ivories massaged liberally and often.
There’s a red-lit stone basement accessed via a tight spiral staircase that you can hire for a party – maybe even a poker game, or mob interrogation. In the mid field is a fireplace behind a wrought-iron grill, and opposite that is the marble bar. It’s here that you can procure an easy-drinking sauvignon blanc, or really burn a hole through your finances with something rare that owner and antiques dealer Boris Kanter has in his possession.
Or you could pull up a vintage barber stool and let them make your tiki and classic cocktail dreams come true. We haven’t seen a Rusty Nail in a while. It’s a hefty hit of Scotch and Drambuie that we reckon could be its own tetanus cure. They’re not punching at quite the same weight as nearby Di Stasio, but it’s obvious that they take pride in the drinks here. Garnishes are carefully cut and there’s a sign banning the ordering of any Bundy or Wet Pussy shots (this is still Fitzroy Street, after all, where the collars stand to attention and legs of the ladies roam free).
Slip in for pre- or post-dinner drinks or stay and play.