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Bonny A Bar of Discovery in Fitzroy

Bonny is a modern, moody, minimalist, and even mind-blowing bar of discovery that inspires locals and showcases cutting edge beer, natural wine and cocktails from around Melbourne and beyond. With regular exciting additions to the drinks menu, and a rotating kitchen featuring top chefs every 3 months, Bonny is always evolving and expressing itself in new ways. We were invited along to experience what is surely one of Melbourne's finest bars, and one of the most interesting. How about a Garage Project Fairy Bread White? Or an Architects of Wine Barbera (extraordinary)? Or Momokawa Junmai Sake? This is a bar that blows up beige, and releases the colour and nuance of fabulous drinking.

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Bonny is a collaboration between beer royalty Edge Brewing Project’s Adam Betts and business partner Michelle Vanspall, as well as Shayne Dixon from popular Smith Street bottle shop Beermash. There are 27 taps that feature a plehtora of beverages from beer, to natural wine to inspired cocktails. Just look up to the wall where the beverages are clearly featured (with taps underneath), and choose your beverage of choice. Part of the experience is to engage with Aiden behind the bar, who took us on an odyssey of fine drinking, happy to give us samples (you don't always get that in a bar), and recommend new adventures in drinking.

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Favourites of the night included the Bonny Revised Motivation featuring stout as the base, Campari (for that nuance of bitter), cold brew coffee (made on site), and rye whisky (for further depth). Dispelling the tradition that coffee is to be consumed in the morning. The Bonny Hibiscus Punch was refreshing, and the favourite natural wine was the Architects of Wine Barbera (from a great South Australian producer). While the refreshing organic Momokawa Sake appealed to me as great sessional drinking with melon and lime nuances. 

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Hibiscus Punch refreshment.

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Barbera was a standout.

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For many years this venue was home to a well known Japanese restaurant then the ramen sensation Shibui Bar, but the team of Bonny have completely transformed the space into a top shelf bar of distinction. Adam Betts is on premises always engaging with customers, with engagement being a feature of this bar. There are several appealing spaces to enjoy your experience at Bonny, including at the bar, the long tables and different rooms, out the back in Bonny Backyard, and at tables on the pavement in front of the bar.

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Where to start? Bartender help was appreciated.

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Local artwork for sale with 100% proceeds going to the artists.

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We were thrilled to experience the Gingergirl menu (from Teague Ezard) that perfectly complemented the drinks. From Master Stock Pork Belly Bao, to Chiang Mai Hot Dogs, Wagyu Beef Sliders, Steamed Prawn & Ginger Dumplings, Steamed Rice Noodles with Shitake XO, Tofu Wontons, and Coconut Cake, it was all delicious.

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Master Stock Pork Belly Bao was a triumph.

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Noodles and Wagyu sliders perfect with our drinks.

Betts, Vanspall and Dixon were responsible for the fit-out themselves, with Adam revealing his tradie skills from a beer system install business, Michelle's degree in industrial design and Shayne's education in light and sound, all bringing unique aspects to the project.

This is a sexy modern, moody bar featuring a minimalist look, dimly lit but excellent discreet lighting, alluring spaces, elongated reclaimed-timber bar, with feature artwork from locals (all for sale with 100% proceeds going to the artists), long wooden tables and exposed ceiling rafters.

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Chiang Mai Hot Dogs were a tangy favourite.

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Alluring spaces.

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Coconut Cake rich and indulgent.

Betts has resisted the temptation to make Bonny all about beer given his background, but this is a well rounded bar where conservative drinkers will experience an epiphany. But also the beer choices shine here, from the Edge Cloudy Hops Oat Lager to the amazing Future Mountain Oak Aged Golden Sour we experienced, to American Pale Ale.

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Locals love Bonny Bar but its well worth a drive across town. Highly recommended.