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304, Brunswick Street, Melbourne, Australia
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW’S wayward pirate ship may be sailing out of our psyche (unless there’s another sequel, which we wouldn’t rule out), but Melbourne’s family-owned Black Pearl remains a big hit among booze-swilling bar experts. It came into being in 2001 and perhaps the plethora of shiny new bar openings means it has dropped down the poll since 2013.
But it ain’t out. When it opened, today’s captain Tash Conte and her sister were the bartenders and their mum manned (womanned?) the kitchen - she still makes the cracking canapes, actually. Meanwhile, the job of bar back went to a "little cousin".
Low lighting and low tables set the tone downstairs and it can get pretty lively after work. Black Pearl’s in Fitzroy, the part of Melbourne made for young hipsters and bohemian bods on the hunt for stuff such as records and vintage clothes. But don’t worry about being surrounded by trendy twits, this bar’s doors are open to all. Cocktails are exquisite and perfectly mixed, but if you’re not feeling stirred by the thought of hard booze, no matter - there’s a great line-up of beer, too.
To add a touch of swank to your night, pop upstairs to The Attic. She’s a classy beaut and table service is the name of the game.
Downstairs is for mates, upstairs is for dates.