Nick & Nora's
This opulent CBD bar boasts over 400 bottles of champagne, three balconies and a roaring 30s vibe.
Champagne, cognac and caviar. This is what Melburnians can expect from the CBD's favourite new cocktail bar, Nick & Nora's.
The bar is brainchild of the Speakeasy Group, the owners of cocktail classic Eau de Vie, Viking luxe bar Mjølner and whisky-serving Boilermaker House. Like Mjolner, Nick & Nora's will be a Sydney import — the group opened its first Nick & Nora's in Sydney in October 2018.
The Melbourne outpost swung open its incredibly opulent doors in July, for a very short time, then reopened them at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, October 27 when restrictions were eased. Like its Sydney counterpart, the venue is inspired by Dashiell Hammett's novel The Thin Man and its fictional crime-solving team Nick and Nora Charles. If you're not familiar with the book, expect a roaring 30s vibe befitting a most glamorous party. The sprawling venue boasts five distinct spaces (a main bar, salon, champagne parlour and a VIP lounge), three balconies, green marble, gold and dark wood finishes and a whopping 400 bottles of champagne on display.
The latter is housed in a five-metre-long climate-controlled display case and features rare vintages alongside bubbles by the glass. For cocktails, the manual is organised by taste — a Speakeasy Group signature — but with venue-themed list names like The Femme Fatal, The Hollywood Starlet and The Snitch. Think martinis, champagne cocktails, punches and sours aplenty.
If you can't be bothered to read through the entire book of drinks, we suggest going for the smoking Cafe Noir (aged rum, cold drip, coffee liqueur, sweet sherry and vanilla mousse, served chilled with liquid nitrogen, $21), the Doin' Time (Woodford Reserve rye whiskey, marmalade and amaro, served with a pinot noir float, $22) or the four-person Pinkerton Punch (gin, Cynar, elderflower, celery shrub and bubbles, $20–40 a person).
For nibbles while you drink, there are French-inspired snacks and share plates, including smoked eel blinis topped with caviar ($20), confit duck with fermented chilli ($16), chicken liver parfait with brioche ($12) and lamb tartare topped with macadamia cream ($18). Plus a full caviar service ($120–260) and a sizeable selection of cheese and charcuterie.
Nick & Nora's is located in the high-end restaurant precinct within the 80 Collins Street building. It's shaping up to house some big hospitality names, with highly anticipated new venues from Sepia's Vicki Wild and Martin Benn and Pastuso's Alejandro Saravia already locked in.
Images: Brook James
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80 Collins Precinct, Melbourne