304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Set over two levels on Brunswick Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, Black Pearl has amassed more accolades than any other Australian bar over its past 15 years of service. The joy of Tash Conte’s place is in the welcome and in the way you’re made to feel. It’s as though you’ve stumbled upon a family celebration at which you work out that you are long-lost cousins.
From Thursday through to Saturday night, it opens the Attic upstairs where the emphasis is on cocktails and table service (though the best spot is still at the bar). You’ll be greeted by two bartenders, Chris Hysted-Adams and Nathan Beasley, who’ve both been named Australia’s best bartender. Would you know it talking to them? No, they remain as charmingly down-to-earth as ever, but you’ll discern it in their drinks.
Black Pearl is this year's Legend of the List, sponsored by Suze, an award for the bar that has performed most consistently over the history of the list – as well as Best Bar in Australasia, sponsored by Seedlip.