Time Out Bar Awards Hit The Mark
A couple of weeks after the Time Out Melbourne Bar Awards we're reflecting on how good the Melbourne bar scene actually is. The Melbourne bar scene is world class with healthy interchange of bartenders from overseas coming here and vice versa. It's interesting because the sophistication of bars and the drinking scene is at a highpoint; while on the other hand we've seen a more casual approach and less sophistication when it comes to restaurants. This means, as one top chef told us, not as many high class chefs are looking to work in Melbourne.
We celebrate the choice of EDV as best bar team and Bar of the Year; a bar of innvovation and sophistication. We also love the choice of Hihou for Best Bar Food (still a mystery location for some).
Winners of the Time Out Melbourne Bar Awards 2016 have been announced, with the night’s biggest award, Bar of the Year, going to jazz-infused city cocktail establishment Eau De Vie (EDV).
The sister of Sydney’s Eau De Vie, the opulent, Prohibition-style speakeasy impressed Time Out’s judges for its good times atmosphere, cocktail-making excellence and flair, luxe food menu and consistently seamless service throughout 2015. EDV doubled up on the awards, also taking out Best Bar Team award for its crack contingent of dapper bartenders.
The accolades for the Speakeasy Group didn’t end there, with their second Melbourne-based venue, Boilermaker House, named Best New Bar. More laid back than EDV, the bar specialises in Boilermakers – a shot of whisky and a beer chaser – with over 700 whiskies and a rotating selection of craft beers.
Held at The Mill House on Flinders Lane and hosted by DJ and comedian Andrew McClelland, Time Out Melbourne’s fourth Bar Awards toasted the best bars and bartenders in town. Industry professionals, cocktail connoisseurs and Time Out readers gathered to witness winners announced across eleven categories.
Michael Madrusan came up trumps with two of his Melbourne-based bars taking out awards. Seamless and sophisticated Fitzroy bar The Everleigh was named Best Cocktail Bar, while her sexier, more rebellious sister, dive bar Heartbreaker, was crowned with the Best Party Bar Award.
Fitzroy remains a hot spot for the city’s finest bars. Best Wine Bar went to Bar Clarine on Gertrude Street for a selection spanning natural, biodynamic and minimal-intervention wines, grower Champagnes, edgy skin-contact wines, and a kitchen punching above its weight. Polly on Brunswick Street – one of Melbourne’s oldest cocktail bars and a hens’ night favourite – was voted the winner of People’s Choice Award by Time Out readers.
Black Pearl’s talented crew bagged two awards, with Nathan Beasley being recognised as Best Bartender and Luke Sanderson taking out the Hot Talent Award, given to a star performer from a field nominated by industry veterans.
Serving up some of the best sashimi in Melbourne to accompany their selection of sake, Hihou was awarded Best Bar Food; and this year’s Legend Award was bestowed upon Melbourne institution, Vernon Chalker’s Gin Palace, recognised for nearly 20 years of late-night cocktail shenanigans.
“Melbourne’s bar scene continues to evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly savvy audience,” says Time Out Australia CEO Michael Rodrigues. “Bottled cocktails, biodynamic wines and restaurant-quality food are amongst other improvements Melbourne’s bar owners have introduced to keep customers coming back.”
And the winners are:
BEST NEW BAR
(Highly Commended: Bar Exuberante)
BEST WINE BAR
(Highly Commended: Smalls)
BEST BAR FOOD
(Highly Commended: Le Bon Ton)
Nathan Beasley – Black Pearl
(Highly Commended: Jack Sotti – Boilermaker House)
BEST BAR TEAM
(Highly Commended: Black Pearl)
BEST COCKTAIL BAR
(Highly Commended: Bar Americano)
BEST PARTY BAR
(Highly Commended: Mr Wow's Emporium)
HOT TALENT AWARD
Luke Sanderson – Black Pearl
(Highly Commended: Wiremu Andrews – Smalls)
BAR OF THE YEAR