MELBOURNE | You all know that I’m a big fan of Colombian food, and in great news for me other inner north Melburnians, one of my favourites Berbeo Bros, is now operating the kitchen at Northcote’s Bar 61. I was recently invited to check it out.
Bar 61 is a great little family run bar, opened by Andrew Cannalonga just before the pandemic started. Despite spending most of its existence to date under lockdown and restrictions, Andrew, his sister Steph, and the team have managed to build a reputation as a bit of a local’s favourite.
This isn’t a bar that’s trying to reinvent the wheel. It’s all about getting the things that count right. Andrew and Steph are super friendly and hospitable, and really make an effort to make the bar feel like a welcoming local’s spot. It’s classic cocktails and creative riffs on the classics, using quality spirits. Local craft beers on tap and in the fridges, a wine list that also leans local. Be sure to check out the range of delicious tiki cocktails on offer, and the assorted espresso martinis.
Music wise, it’s DJs spinning old school hip-hop/R&B tunes, with a small dance floor if you’re in the mood to get down. Murals on the walls, showcasing local and indigenous artists like @robertmichaelyoung, are the icing on the cake. There’s a cozy courtyard out back, and a function space upstairs.
For food, it’s of course the Berbeo Bros Colombian street food that brought the bar to my attention in the first place. An assortment of delicious signature dishes from the Berbeo menu like arpeas, lechona, empanadas, chorpian, and a mixed grill platter.
61 High Street
Thu – Sat: 5:00pm to 1:00am