The Beaufort Carlton has a very simple one page website. A logo, essential details on where it is, when it’s open, and how to contact them, as well as the promise of:
Boats. Booze. Buns.
An intriguing proposition that invites you to check things out without giving away too much. What exactly is it then, that the Beaufort offer to those wandering souls who walk through its doors?
The brainchild of Dave Kerr, the inspiration for the Beaufort came from American Dive bars, with Kerr quick to admit that they are not trying to recreate a dive bar, but rather create a fun venue for locals, and anyone else who pops in that is inspired by dive bars, and Kerr’s love of nautical themed paraphernalia.
When you walk inside, it’s instantly clear that the guys have pulled off what they set out to achieve. The Beaufort is not “nice” and is very bare bones save for the copious amount of nautical themed objects and posters scattered throughout.
There is a mixed crowd, and it really is the kind of venue that anyone can feel at home at. One of the things I miss the most about the UK is that feeling you get from having a drink at a “locals” pub and in many ways the Beaufort recreates some of that feeling.
On some nights there is live music, and it’s one of the most casual feeling bars I’ve been to in Melbourne. Standing out the front, watching the world go by while waiting for a friend to arrive is something that seems to be getting harder to do in Melbourne, and it’s nice to be able to do that here. It’s all of the little things that help make a night at the Beaufort a good one.
Behind the bar lies an impressive array of beers and spirits that any pirate would enjoy, and the cocktail menu is small but very decent. The drinks are very well priced too.
As well as Australian craft beers in the fridge, there is a rotating selection of Australian craft beers on tap. I like to order “a pint of the ship” or “a pint of the whisk” and wait until after I’ve tried it before asking what it is that I’m drinking.
The side room has a long communal table and that valuable addition to any bar – a pool table.
The food on offer at the Beaufort is very decent and quite well priced. American classics such as burgers, deep fried pickles (the best in Melbourne in my opinion), pulled pork buns etc is what’s on offer, including gluten free options for those who request it.
On the night that I took the above photos I wasn’t eating, but here’s a phone photo from when I was at the Beaufort on another occasion and ordered the pulled pork and kimchi bun with jalepeno mayo. It was delicious.
If you haven’t been to the Beaufort yet I’d highly recommend that you check it out. I’ve been several times since I discovered it last year, and have always had a great night there. You’ll feel like it’s your local bar, even if you’re not a local.
421 Rathdowne Street
Mon – Sat: 5:00pm to 1:00am
Sun: 3:00pm to 11:00pm