The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Friday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Melbourne
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Maha Bar Is the New Cocktail and Meze Joint Taking Over Biggie Smalls' Collingwood Space

It's opening next month with free snacks on offer three nights a week.
By Libby Curran
January 16, 2020
By Libby Curran
January 16, 2020

First, we farewelled Biggie Smalls' Windsor outpost, as owner-chef Shane Delia transformed his contemporary Chapel Street kebab store into a sleek wine bar called Maha East. Now, it's time for the venue's long-running Collingwood sibling to have a shakeup of its own.

Biggie Smalls' Smith Street store will be reborn as cocktail-focused meze bar, Maha Bar. It's out with the fried chicken and hip hop, and in with clever cocktails and modern Middle Eastern plates for this new northside venture slated to open its doors in February.

We're told to expect a Melbourne twist on the meze bar concept, with flavours and approaches echoing those at Delia's acclaimed CBD restaurant Maha, but served with a slightly more casual edge.

Studio Y is overhauling the space in a vision of moody lighting, timber panelling and soft curves, with a stretch of banquettes and a long bar ringed by front-row seats. On the walls, you'll spy pieces from Lebanese French artist Raphaelle Macaron.

The now-closed Collingwood Biggie Smalls

The honed booze focus means Maha Bar's drinks offering will be an extensive one, headlined by a series of signature cocktails paying homage to the flavours of the Middle East. A broad wine menu will favour organic and biodynamic drops from both near and far, while a range of infused araks and rakis are sure to also get a solid workout. From the kitchen, a seasonal menu stars a diverse spread of large meze plates as well as smaller snacks best enjoyed with a drink in hand.

And, in the spirit of the generous Maltese hospitality Delia grew up with, Maha Bar will even be dishing up a few cheeky freebies each week. Head in between 3–5pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and you'll be treated to a selection of complimentary bar snacks to enjoy with your weekend libations.

Once the Collingwood store's transformation is complete, Delia's food truck will be the only remaining Biggie Smalls operation. You can catch it at major events, as well as at private catering gigs.

Find Maha Bar at 86 Smith Street, Collingwood from February 20. It'll open daily for dinner from 5pm, and for lunch on Friday to Sunday from 11.30am. Biggie Smalls Collingwood is now closed.

Top images: Renders of Maha Bar

Published on January 16, 2020 by Libby Curran


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel