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Bar Bambi Is AC/DC Lane's New Late-Night Italian Lounge Bar and Diner

Roll in for carbonara toasties, negronis by the carafe and a diverse entertainment lineup — with a cheeky 5am close on Saturdays.
By Libby Curran
November 18, 2021
By Libby Curran
November 18, 2021

Lately, there have been enough new venues opening — or planning to open — in iconic hospitality sites to make it something of a trend. Think, Nomad Melbourne, Fitzroy's Kewpie and, soon, Cucina Povera.

Well, here's another one to add to the list. Launched last week, Bar Bambi is the plush new venture from Nick and Daniel Russian (founders of Eve Bar), taking over the revered rock 'n roll site that once housed the original Cherry Bar.

You can push aside all thoughts of the four-legged Disney character — the venue's in fact named after and inspired by a bar the duo's Nonno owned in Trieste, Italy, 80 years ago. Here on AC/DC Lane, they're paying homage to their heritage while delivering a dazzling late-night joint that aims to help reignite Melbourne's party spirit.

Mark Roper

It's a sumptuous lounge bar with design nods to the drinking dens of both LA and Europe, celebrating glam vintage touches throughout. Step through the door and into a space filled with curved banquettes and staircases, and sporting a healthy appreciation for the colour pink; all the work of awarded designer David Hicks.

Italian share plates rule the menu, with finely-tuned familiar favourites interspersed with contemporary surprises. A loaded carbonara toastie and a tiramisu cannoli fall into the latter group.

Elsewhere, you'll find the likes of rigatoni done with wagyu bolognese, a spicy vodka pasta, calamari fritti and a hefty pork cotoletta on the bone, Meanwhile, the antipasti lineup includes bites like mortadella, burrata caprese, nduja and polpette, which you can match with serves of Italian flatbread.

Mark Roper

A well-matched drinks offering has a soft spot for spritzes and negronis, with a multitude of options and large-format serves available for each. If you're game, try yours by the one-litre carafe; or really impress that group booking by arranging your own negroni fountain ($2200).

They're backed by a slew of other classic Euro cocktails, a healthy spread of Italian and Aussie wines, and a cheeky after-dinner bottle service.

And, since entertainment is every bit as important as the wining and dining action here at Bar Bambi, expect a diverse program of extra fun running into the wee hours — from DJs, to piano singers, to live performances gracing the front stage.

Find Bar Bambi at AC/DC Lane (near corner of 103 Flinders Lane), Melbourne. It's open 5pm–late Wednesday–Friday and from 5pm–5am Saturdays. Sunday sessions will launch shortly, running 12pm–late and showcasing the new Bambi Brunch.

Images: Mark Roper

Published on November 18, 2021 by Libby Curran
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