*Note: Hatts & Tatts has relocated. The you can now find it in the CBD.*
MELBOURNE | As I walk through the entrance and into Hatts & Tatts I hear the sounds of Bon Jovi playing over the speakers while faced with a movie poster for Top Gun. To my left in this dimly lit room is a television playing a Bulls v Pistons game from the 1991 NBA finals series. Below the television are pinball machines, and from the next room the unmistakable sounds of “Hadouken!” coming from a Street Fighter arcade machine. As the music segues from Bon Jovi to Wu Tang, and I stare that the bright neon-blue sign advising me to “derelict my balls”, I wonder to myself where, or more accurately, when, am I?
The answer is 2016 in South Melbourne, at the pub formerly known as the Southern Cross Hotel. This American-dive-frat-sports bar is targeted squarely at those who grew up in the 1980s and 90s, who pine for a bit of old school nostalgia, or just want to have a good time. Owner Jason Chan (West Winds Gin, Plenty) has teamed up with Chris Stock (Hell Towers Saloon, Golden Monkey), and Wizey Baleitavuki (The Rum Diary Bar, Railway Hotel) to create a place ticks all of the right boxes.
Apart from the mish mash of retro awesomeness (and a pull table and dart board), the bar’s food and drink offering stands its own ground. Over 450 different spirits are available, and they’re used in some pretty impressive cocktails – the bar has cocktails on draught, some micro-distilling equipment, a nitro kit, and Co2. Beers are also quality, with a focus on local and American craft beers on the taps and in cans, as well as a well not so craft options for those who are that way inclined.
Food is American comfort food, with 3 day buttermilk brined fried chicken, deconstructed Rueben croquettes, burgers, waffles and a whole lot of other good stuff in a similar vein.
When the basketball finished, the television started showing a WWF wrestling tournament from the early 90s and the music was AC-DC… or was it Springsteen… or Phil Collins. Whose round is next?
Hatts & Tatts
78 Cecil Street
Wed – Thu: 4:00pm to 1:00am
Fri: 12:00pm to 1:00am
Sat: 4:00pm to 1:00am
Sun: 2:00pm to 10:00pm