MELBOURNE | Yarra Falls is a tiny 25 seat bar inside the CDB’s heritage listed Tavistock House. The intimate space, which dates back to 1866, retains several heritage listed features, contrasted against new additions, most notably the wall behind the bar that not only holds bottles of spirits, but is a green wall, piece of art, and actual waterfall.
It fits in with the name of the venue, which is bartender and co-owner Brendan Keown’s (ex Baxter Inn, Hotel Esplanade) first venue. Yarra Falls refers not only to the bar’s waterfall, but the natural waterfall that once divided the Yarra River where Queen’s Bridge now stands, before being blown up in 1883.
It’s a reminder of this city’s past that a lot of people don’t know about. That theme flows through the bar’s menu. Cocktails highlight native ingredients and botanicals, using seasonal ingredients and showcasing Victorian producers. Keown consults with local land councils and sources ingredients from businesses owned by or working with Indigenous people.
There’s also nods to Keown’s Irish heritage. There’s Irish whisky behind the bar, and a small food menu featuring fresh oysters, eel (when it’s in season locally), grilled to order potato bread with butter and optional Vegemite, and a daily pot of soup.
Speaking of food, 50 cents from each dish sold, is donated by the bar to support Budj Bim Cultural Landscape on Gunditjmara country, about 300 kilometres west of Melbourne.
381 Flinders Lane
Wed – Sat: 5:00pm to 1:00am