For any Melburnian – more generally, for any past visitor to this great city – who has had a finger even remotely close to the pulse of its rich and diverse hospitality scene, Southbank’s Eve nightclub would be well known. Hosting a myriad of celebrities throughout its 10-year existence, from sports stars to music stars to movie stars and every type of star in between, Eve could be described as a virtual pop culture galaxy. A world-renowned reputation such as this, of course, can generate an overwhelming amount of expectation and resulting anxiety for the establishment’s owners. Unfortunately, this proved to be the case for Eve’s owners, brothers Nick and Daniel Russian. In 2016, the Russians closed the doors to this celebrity hotspot once and for all, as they were fatigued and in desperate need of a break. Nick explains, “When I walked out of there for the final time, it felt like an enormous relief.” As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Furthermore, success is naturally capable of igniting continued motivation. As such, after a 5-year hiatus, the Brothers Russian are once again poised to dive into the fiercely competitive ocean of local nightlife.

Roughly three years ago, Nick and Daniel discovered an opportunity in the form of the freshly vacated site of the legendary Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane. After successfully overcoming a series of obstacles, including liquor-licensing issues and the inability of hospitality venues to trade regularly over the past 20 months, the brothers are finally ready to unveil their glamourous and sophisticated new lounge bar, Bar Bambi. Simply put, Bar Bambi is a late-night bar serving Italian cocktails, wines and share plates and offering music Wednesday through Sunday nights. The venue purports to offer a destination for first dates, dinner dates, birthday dates and office party dates…even middle-of-the-week dates. Despite its diverse and delicious culinary offerings, it is important to remember that Bar Bambi is not a restaurant; rather, it is a bar which serves food. Of course, regardless of classification, when the aromas and flavours of high-calibre cuisine are involved, the collective curiosity of a food-driven culture is naturally stimulated. Fair enough.

To reiterate, the Bar Bambi menu focuses on share plates. Antipasti include Wagyu bresaola, prosciutto San Daniele, burrata Caprese, Cerignola olives and pesce crudo. Indulge in calamari fritti, chargrilled lamb arrosticini and/or gamberoni as a small share and, perhaps, tagliatta with minute steak and rocket and/or butterflied grilled spatchcock as a large share. Not surprisingly, there are pasta and pizza selections. Consider pappardelle in a lamb ragu or vodka pasta served with a rich, spicy tomato sugo. A capricciosa, diavola or funghi pizza might prove to be the ideal means through which to absorb the evening’s frivolity. If, like most, you consider the humble pizza to be exclusive to the realm of the paisano, or peasant, reconsider and order the pinnacle of indulgence, the lobster version. If a sweet tooth needs tending to, tiramisu cannoli and Nutella bombolini should suffice, among other delectable desserts.

At the core of the Bar Bambi ethos is an holistic attempt to reinvent and recreate the most basic concept of a bar. Inspired by the ultra-chic Los Angeles supper club Delilah, with their new venture, the Russians are setting a new and innovative standard for urban nightlife here in Melbourne – a standard that is sophisticated, stylish and luxurious. Bar Bambi is a lounge experience that sits somewhere between a restaurant and a nightclub. According to Nick, “But on a Friday or Saturday night at a certain time, it will become more of a party, but at the same time, it is definitely not a nightclub.”

Bar Bambi is slated to finally open in early November. Be one of the first to experience this new standard of glamour and sophistication.

Photography: Courtesy of Bar Bambi / Mark Roper, Broadsheet

BOOK BAR BAMBI

Photography: Courtesy of Bar Bambi / Mark Roper, Broadsheet

VISIT BAR BAMBI

Photography: Courtesy of Bar Bambi / Mark Roper, Broadsheet

DINE AT BAR BAMBI

Photography: Courtesy of Bar Bambi / Mark Roper, Broadsheet

BOOK BAR BAMBI

Photography: Courtesy of Bar Bambi / Mark Roper, Broadsheet

BOOK BAR BAMBI
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