Located down a non-descript laneway off Little Collins Street, Bar Americano is a little bar doing big things.
It’s really no wonder, considering the resume of its creator, Matt Bax. As the mastermind behind internationally renowned bars in all corners of the world, including Tippling Club in Singapore and Gamsei in Munich, he has built a name for doing things differently.
Matt opened Bar Americano in 2011, and designed the concept as an homage to one of his favourite Venetian bars, Harry’s Bar. Having struggled to find good, consistent, classic cocktails in Melbourne, he set about creating a space that would do just that, and only that.
Therefore, Matt and his team unashamedly serve only the classics. And no, an espresso martini is not a classic. The menu rotates based on seasonality and what the team feel like whipping up, but there’s usually some type of bellini, old fashioned, negroni and amaro on offer. There is no place to hide when serving a classic, so the team behind the bar at strive to make well-mixed and balanced cocktails, without any gimmicky garnishes and weird flavour combinations. Two natural Italian wines, which change each week, complete the drink offering.
The menu is only made more exciting by the snug interior. Just like a classic Italian cafe, Bar Americano is standing room only, with room for 10 patrons. With beautiful white tiled walls, a wooden bar and classic black and white European tiles on the floor, it evokes images of 1920s Paris or Rome. It also enforces a strict no photos policy. in order to respect the privacy of its patrons and to keep an air of mystery about the venue.
While the menu, decor and lack of people constantly Instagramming their drinks seem like a step back in time, the systems are extremely modern. Bar Americano is completely cashless. After realizing that almost 95% of their patrons were choosing to pay on card, they simply followed the trend.
Perfect for a quick aperitif before dinner or an after-work wind down, Bar Americano defines all that is good about Melbourne: good drinks, good people and a good time.