A new Gastro Pub hits Crown, with good times on tap
When a place boasts “good times on tap” they have to follow through. Fortunately, The Merrywell exceeds expectations. It opened last week at Crown with renowned US chefs Grant MacPherson and Sam DeMarco at the hull. Known for traveling the world eating, cooking and seeking inspiration, we can finally put our jealousy aside and reap the benefits of MacPherson and DeMarco’s culinary adventures.
Resident Chef Ewart Wardhaugh is in charge of the kitchen when the boys aren’t there, but listing his impressive resume would take up half of this article. The Pub Grub section of the menu is anything but ordinary and the grazing plates (antipasto, butcher block, cheese shoppe or seafood tower) are perfect to share. Smaller bites like lollipop buffalo wings with blue cheese will hit the spot, but if you’re up for a challenge, order The Caveman, a 1200g aged rib eye steak for two. During the day, breakfast gets fancy (125th St. crispy fried chicken & red velvet waffles with honey, anyone?) and the heat is turned up downstairs at the burger bar.
The huge space – designed by Mills Gorman — channels Las Vagas but without the fluff. It’s sharp without the snobbery and is as casual as a three level gastro pub with high ceilings, an upstairs restaurant area, a downstairs bar and an outdoor terrace can get. Inside, suspended glass lights litter the ceiling and illustrated posters remind patrons it’s okay to let their hair down. We’d love to know who emptied the 9000 beer bottles that make up the illuminated feature wall. As for the tunes, the DJ’s vinyl collection sets the mood, while the view from the heated terrace epitomises everything that makes Melbourne marvellous.
The “good times” start on tap with a choice of 8 beers and cider, then continues with 30 bottled beers, local and imported wine, and cocktails that will make your brain implode. But our favourite part of the beverage mix is the alcoholic floaters, especially the spider with root beer, vanilla ice cream and vanilla vodka. At The Merrywell, you’ll want to visit for lunch, stay for dinner and sip one of everything, so it’s little wonder the bill comes in a folder marked ‘damage’.
Location: Corner of Clarendon St & Crown Riverside
Open: Sun-Thurs: bar 5pm-1am, snacks 5pm-12am, dinner 6pm-11pm|Fri-Sat: bar 5pm-3am, snacks 5pm-2am, dinner 6pm-12am|Burger Bar 7 days, 11am-11pm
Phone: (03) 9292 7468