They salute the USA with both fists, a boatload of bourbon and Buffalo hot wings at the Kodiak Club. This was one of Melbourne’s first odes to the great American dive bar, and it’s still one of the best.
During the week it’s a fairly respectable saloon. You’ll find a lot of couples cutting the tension of their first OK Cupid date with bacon-infused bourbon Old Fashioneds and a few solo locals propping up the bar with Sam Adams beers. Monday is s’mores night. On the weekends you can’t hear yourself over the combined roar of revellers and power ballads. They take Kentucky’s corn-based whiskey pretty seriously here.
Get your sweet and smoky Buffalo Trace straight up with a beer chaser (served in a kegger cup, natch), or take it in a cocktail. They mix a good drink. The Cocktail Formerly Known as Steve is a fresh hit of bourbon, cherry liqueur, lime and Benedictine with an allspice kick from house-made pimento. If you really want to disgrace yourself, have a crack at their wing challenge – 60 hot wings in 60 minutes. Word is that the buttery hot sauce will get you before the four kilos of chicken does.
The party continues upstairs at Little Blood – their dedicated tequila bar where you can take a number of agave liquors for a spin with a spicy tomato sangrita side sipper. Come early on a Saturday, or prepare to get in line.