Huxtaburger’s partner in sublime, Bill’s Bar, opens out the back
If we were to play hide-and-seek in Melbourne, we would hide in Bill’s Bar. This discreet drinking den opened the Friday before last right behind hamburger ‘it’ joint, Huxtaburger. In fact, the only way to get in is through an inconspicuous silver door at the end of Huxtaburger’s counter.
Like its more up-market restaurant comrade across the road, Huxtable, and it’s casual neighbour, Huxtaburger, Bill’s Bar pinches its name from the Cosby Show. But unlike the rather comical Bill Cosby, the barely lit Bill’s has a dark, cavernous feel. Individual candles are placed on each polished table and leather bucket chairs mean there won’t be arguments over the banquette seating. Custom made, wooden wine racks cover the right wall in a network of diamonds, matched by another opposite the bar.
There are nearly 100 wines on offer, with a focus on Victorian varieties. The Enomatic wine dispenser means you can sample some exciting drops by the mouthful, half glass or full glass. The drinks list declares “we decided that it would be a nice gesture to make all of our spirits ‘premium’ yet ‘affordable.’” It doesn’t get much nicer than spirits for a flat $9, including 12-year-old single malt whiskies. Alternatively, try the “this shits be nasty”, an “ever evolving combination of premium spirits” that resembles a high-class version of what you used to sneak from your parents’ liquor cabinet in a water bottle.
There’s a small bar menu with a big name attached to it (Daniel Wilson of Huxtable), which also channels affordability. We liked the look of the southern fried chicken ribs with jalapeno mayo and the pulled pork buns with pickles. If you can’t decide, order everything on the menu, it will only set you back $54.
So count to 100, shout ‘ready or not, here I come’ and we’ll meet you at Bill’s Bar. Don’t worry—we’ll keep our phone handy for when you get lost.
Location: 104 Smith Street, Collingwood
Open: Tues-Sun 6pm-11pm (pending late night liquor license)
Phone: (03) 9417 6320