Above BoardLevel 1, 306 Smith Street, Collingwood
Above Board is one bar we’ve been waiting for. Since bartender Hayden Lambert moved on from his post at Melbourne’s Bar Americano, we’ve been waiting to see what he did next, knowing that a bar of his own could be in the works. A couple of brief stints in other Melbourne bars followed, as he developed the plans for Above Board and, backed by the team behind Rockwell and Sons and newcomer Cornelis Ribbe, secured a site. At the end of November, the doors opened.
What you’ll find inside is a stripped back room, one that feels like it wouldn’t be out of place in Tokyo; a stately wooden bar, behind which you’ll find Lambert; 12 or so seats are sat around the bar, with space behind the bar for a few more. Despite the minimalist design, the music is lively, and the atmosphere is warm as Lambert hosts the room. There’s few bartenders who can work a one bartender bar like this, keeping up with the orders, keeping it clean, and encouraging the banter the way that Lambert does, all the while crafting drinks that aren’t just good, but great.
Expect to drink cocktails here, and expect classically-structured, finely-balanced drinks, without all the palaver — just great drinks and hospitality.
Above Board is open Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm to 1am.