Der Raum's new little sister may be small, but she packs a mean punch
First published on . Updated on .
Well, damned if this isn't the sharpest tiny bar Melbourne's ever seen. There's no way you could accuse Bar Americano of anything like elitism - it's the exact opposite. There are three seats at the bar (there’s no room for any more) and about enough room for ten more people with no elbow room to squash in and lean against the slender wooden ledge that runs the room. First come, first served; no exceptions. There's a toilet, but only just, and you get the feeling that if they could've added a couple of extra metres to the room and had people relieve themselves outside Barcelona-style, it would've happened. But we digress. Bar Americano, if you can get in, is a proper Italian-style bar, where you can get an Americano (as in a long black), an Americano (as in a cocktail of sweet vermouth, Campari and soda – confusing, right? Damn Italians) and an Old Pal (that's rye, sweet vermouth and Campari in the international language of tasty drinks). The short cocktail list is displayed on a felt pinboard, complete with vintage white lettering. This is the newest offering from Matt Bax and Matt Rees - the fellas behind Der Raum, the bar where the hooch hangs off occy straps and Midori is a banned word. And because it’s from the Der Raum peeps, you can expect there’s some really crazy stuff going on behind the scenes, even if drinks like the Hanky Panky look deceptively simple. It's a beautiful, tiny place with black-and-white tiles on the floor, lots of polished wood and an idiosyncratic back bar on which the bartenders refuse to stock vodka. Go late or go early and don't take your mum - this one's for the staunch of heart who don't mind the wait in a full bar.