Take a look at Bonny, where all the cocktails, wine, and beer are on tap

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Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne, has long been home to some great drinking. Walk just a few streets towards the city from Black Pearl and you’ll find the latest addition to the strip, Bonny.

At Bonny, they’ve put the cocktails and wine on tap along with the beer. The aim here is to be a regular destination for locals (and we suspect that the quick service that the taps afford will see more than a few hospo types rolling through the doors).

The bar is owned by Adam Betts and Shayne Dixon, who together also own Beermash a few blocks over on Smith Street in Collingwood (visitors to Above Board may have passed thr0ough their doors, admiring the shelves of great brews).

They’ve brought on board Joshua Crawford to run the bar, who comes to Bonny from the Speakeasy Group. Through his seven years with Speakeasy, Crawford worked at all three of their Melbourne venues: Eau de Vie Melbourne, Boilermaker House, and Mjolner.

Take a look inside the venue in the gallery above. Below, we ask bar manager Joshua Crawford what we need to know about the bar.

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What’s the big idea behind the bar?
Bonny is very simply, all about great food and drink. Shayne Dixon and Adam Betts (owners) didn’t want BONNY to be pigeon-holed into one specific category of booze, so they have pulled an amazing team together with expertise in different fields to ensure we have amazing offerings for beer, wine and cocktail lovers alike. Having all our drink offerings on tap is unique and lines up with our goal of having a low wastage and environmental friendly bar.

Brunswick St is one of the most iconic strips in Melbourne, for cafe, bar and fashion culture. With the business partners all being locals (both having existing businesses and living in the area), we wanted to add a tap bar to the mix that was authentic and upmarket yet casual. A community bar for the locals to love.

What’s the idea behind the name?
Bonny as a word has a few different meanings. The word derived from the french language means “good”. This seemed fitting in our minimalist styling of the bar, where we wish to keep things simple.

Can you describe the approach to drinks, and in particular the beer cocktails on tap?
I have spent the better part of my career in Melbourne working at venues that put cocktails and craft beer on pretty much a par level of importance. Places such as Cookie, Boilermaker House and Mjolner. So for me the approach to having a list that is all cocktails on tap seemed quite fitting to conjoin the two into the concept. Each of the cocktails has at least one element of beer production in it. Also following BONNY’s ethos of sustainability and up cycling waste, I incorporate tap beer waste into several of the drinks as well.

As anybody who works with beer taps know, a lot of the beer comes from a keg ends up down the drain. We catch and seperate this waste in 3 different categories (hoppy/dark/sour) and then we re work them into cocktail ingredients.

Who are the key personnel in place?
Behind BONNY are some well-known business locals drawing on expertise in hospitality and first-hand knowledge of the rhythm of Brunswick Street. This includes key people behind Beermash (Shayne Dixon) and Edge Brewing Project (Adam Betts). Adam was managing bars before starting a brewing company and it’s been his dream to own a venue in the area, when last year an opportunity for Shayne and Adam came about and they began designing BONNY.

Where it, what are your opening hours, and what is the capacity?
177 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
We’re open 6 days Tuesday to Friday – 4.30pm to 11.00pm; Saturday and Sunday from 12noonto 11.00pm
It’s an intimate and relaxed space seating 60 – on beautiful reclaimed messmate hardwood stools and high tables crafted by local artisans –Bangs Bespoke, plus soft vegan leather couches. We also have an alfresco area on Brunswick St footpath, which seats 20 people.

What will the bar do differently to others in the area?
Having our wines, cocktails and beer on tap is a feature. There is some of Australia’s best bars and restaurants in the area, we are looking to bridge the gap between the two.

Our approach to sustainability in regards to lowering our recycling output to as near zero as we can. Plus I think is a unique way to join the already present approach to low waste and sustainability in the neighbourhood. We want BONNY to be more than just a place to eat and drink. We want to be a part of the community in as many ways as we can. One of the First ways we have done this is by being host to an independent community art program where we display local artists original pieces for sale, taking no commission and providing a platform for them to get their creations out there in a no cost, low fuss kind of way. Our current gallery consists of original pieces from all hospitality professionals who are amazing artists as well.

Can you describe what you’re aiming for in terms of the atmosphere of the place?
We want BONNY to be a great bar, somewhere that feels comfortable for people in the community and be a meeting place where there is good food and drink in an elegant environment that promotes positive energy. The music will be funky and soulful, the decor sleek and easy on the eye but interesting and full of art and living plants. The staff are jovial and welcoming but also passionate about what we represent.

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