Spurred by a partnership with Bacardi-Martini Australia, one of Melbourne’s most symbolic small bars – Bar Americano – is staging a month-long takeover in Sydney. Specifically, the world-class pint-sized bar will be setting up at Bondi’s sun-soaked Icebergs Bar on March 31st and will remain in place until May 1st, transforming the space into a diminutive cocktail lounge that only has enough space for seven guests seated or ten guests standing. Given the substantial difference in atmosphere between Bar Americano and Icebergs Bar, the takeover is one of the most unexpected in the ongoing cultural exchange between Melbourne and Sydney’s hospitality scene.
Takeovers from either city are nothing new and pre-pandemic it seemed almost every month edged the two distinct bar scenes closer. As such, the Bar Americano x Icebergs Bar pop-up is the first temporary residency in years, having originally been scheduled for August 2021 before being pushed back due to obvious reasons.
For those unfamiliar with the Melbourne small bar, Bar Americano comes from maverick bartender and founder Matt Bax and lies claim the world’s best negroni, amongst other things.
For over a decade, the tiny bar has been one of the city’s hardest to find, hanging out in a Presgrave Place with designs on celebrating Italy’s aperitvo culture and clashing that with Melbourne’s love of tiny laneway bars. It’s widely considered one of the best cocktail bars in the city for those after refined classics like the signature Americano, which is a version of the Negroni, and other concoctions that generally fall into one of four categories – spice, sweet, sour, dry.
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Bax will be working with Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini to recreate Bar Americano at the Bondi institution, sketching the small bar’s blueprint onto Icebergs’ considerable swagger. It’ll be a small “bar within a bar” concept so anyone wanting to head along to Icebergs Dining should still be able to do so uninterrupted.
The full drinks menu will feature a total of eight cocktails on offer, all built to showcase Barcardi-Martini Australia’s premium brands across Tequila Patrón, Grey Goose Vodka and Bombay Sapphire Gin.
Of course, neither hospitality figure is reckless enough to give you all the booze without also treating you to some bar snacks. Given it’s at Icebergs, the food should be well worth a go with the menu so far featuring smoked baccala and salmon roe crullers, cotechino and fontina burgers, and bombolone with beef fat caramel.
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If you want to head along to Bar Americano’s Sydney takeover, you’re looking at a 1.5-hour seating across several different session times. From Wednesday to Sunday you can choose 4 PM, 6 PM, or 8 PM seatings. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays you’ll also have the choice of 2 PM seating. Sessions are to be booked online and are priced at $80 per person, which is then deducted from the final bill on the night.
Bar Americano x Icebergs Bar Takeover
Address: 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach
Dates: Thursday, March 31st – Sunday, May 1st
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM(Friday – Sunday)
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Wednesday – Sunday)
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Wednesday – Sunday)
8:00 PM – 9:30 PM (Wednesday – Sunday)