As the name makes so abundantly clear, Bosisto’s is indeed a bar that serves liquor, but what it resembles more is a diner from an old movie. Venetian blinds, slow turning fans and a row of barstools facing the street all contribute to the noir-ish appearance of the place; the jazz-infused music selection and predominately black and white colour scheme fix the impression in place. It wouldn’t seem all that odd to find a down-at-heel private eye pouring a slug of whiskey into his coffee in the back booth. It just looks like that kind of a place.
Named for a long dead mayor of Richmond, Bosisto’s has been in operation since 2008, but its original incarnation as an Italian eatery and bar is no longer much in evidence. Now open only in the evenings, it was curiously quiet one recent Friday when we dropped in; the rear alcove was being used to store furniture, and the bartender was down to one brand of beer. Thankfully, it was at least a good one, but the overall impression was of a bar that isn’t pulling the crowds like it should. Of course, there are a million reasons a bar might resemble a ghost town on one particular Friday night – religious observance, AFL, triffids – and most of them aren’t terminal. Perhaps the black façade, dim lighting and subtle signage are to blame – on a winter’s night it’s easy to walk right by without seeing it.
Whatever the reason for its recent quietude, Bosisto’s is an attractive bar with all the right ingredients, and it has the potential to be a great, atmospheric little neighbourhood joint - something that Bridge Road isn’t exactly overburdened with. Here’s hoping it can win over the custom it deserves.