Update October 15, 2018: The Yarra's beloved floating bar has expanded — upwards. It's opened a new second-storey rooftop bar with a lengthy magnum menu, featuring rosé and Champagne aplenty. Dubbed Upper Deck, the 116-seater bar has panoramic views of the river and day beds, so you can spend lazy summer days making your way through dozens of oysters, woodfired pizzas and 1.5 litres of something pink (with a friend or two to help, of course). It's also available to be hired out, if you're planning a party for a special occasion.
Melbourne's famed floating bar is back for another spring and summer season on the Yarra. And this time, it's bigger and better than ever before.
Arbory Afloat, which made its debut in 2015, has reclaimed its prime position in front of on-shore sister venue Arbory Bar & Eatery on the Yarra. But this year it has gained a considerable extra 19 metres in length — that's on top of the 50 metres and 407-person capacity it had last year.
The temporary bar and restaurant has again been designed by Lucienne Hemmingway of Curious by Design, and is inspired by train trips through the Cinque Terre, where the beaches and cliffs are surrounded by citrus and fig trees. And real citrus and fig trees you will find on the floating bar, nestled amongst lush garden beds, white furnishings and pops of green and orange.
Chef Nick Bennett has again designed the menu, too, which is also inspired by the seaside villages on the Italian Riviera. A woodfired pizza oven, taking pride of place in the open kitchen, will be pumping out Neapolitan-style pizzas, including the Suina topped with buffalo mozzarella, porchetta and crackling, and the Lele with cime di rapa, prawns and chilli. You'll also find lots of seafood, pasta, light salads and sandwiches stuffed with cured meats and cheeses on the menu.
Would it be a visit to seaside Italy without spritzes? We think not. And luckily, there'll be plenty. Blood orange and Aperol spritzes will be on tap, sitting pretty on the drinks menu alongside less-Italian cocktails such as piña coladas and watermelon sangria. Those wanting something simpler can choose from one of eight different G&Ts.