MELBOURNE | Bird is a new bar tucked away down a side street in Brunswick East, focusing on quality drinks and all things chicken. Housed where fish and chip shop Scales, and Jack Horner before that, once stood, the space is unrecognisable. Natural materials, low lighting, and a mixture of bar, table, couch, and outdoor seating combine for a welcoming atmosphere.
It’s the kind of place you don’t stumble across unless you know that it’s there. Co-owner Luke Elia and his team want Bird to be a local’s spot, which is fitting given that it’s at the base of an apartment complex. Service is friendly, and there’s a noticeable comradery amongst the team.
The long bar features an impressive array of drinks. An all Australian list of over 300 spirits, and 14 taps featuring craft beer and wines from local, independent breweries and wine makers. There’s a short list of house cocktails, along with all of the classics, and alcohol-free options. I’m a big fan of the “Winner Winner”. If features blended malt whiskey, macadamia and wattleseed liqueur, lemon, and cacao bitters.
For food, the menu focuses on chicken, inspired by the various ways you find it served across the USA and other places around the world. Think buffalo wings, salt and pepper ribs, and buttermilk-brined Southern-style fried chicken. The thighs, served tender and on the bone, with a bowl of gravy made using chicken drippings, are especially delicious.
Beyond chicken, there’s sides like chips, mash and gravy, and slaw. There’s also a very decent selection of vegan options like popcorn cauliflower, hickory smoked BBQ eggplant, and charred cabbage with lentils, peas, and buttermilk labne.
179 Weston Street
Sun – Thu: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 5:00pm to 11:00pm