❥ Romeo Lane
Romeo Lane is a true expression of what happens when love is the driving force. I wasn’t expecting it, but I entered through the door and immediately I felt the love. There’s a warmth and gentleness to the place. It’s ethereal and romantic.
Owned and operated by a young couple, Rita & Joey, both career cocktail bartenders, Romeo Lane opened its doors in September. It’s set on the ground floor of an old heritage building in one of Melbourne’s historic laneways.
The old-worldliness of Romeo Lane is carried right through the entire concept. It’s in the location, the styling, the presentation and the cocktails. The old-school jazz, blues and soul soundtrack adds to the atmosphere, class and sophistication at this enchanting little bar. Even Rita and Joe look like they’ve stepped out of a bygone era, so it’s not surprising that their influence is early 19th century bartenders like Harry Craddock, Hugo Ensslin and Charles H Baker Jr.
You can tell this bar is a product of this gorgeous couple’s dreams and inspiration. There’s love and attention in the bar’s every detail and there is something very special about being in their presence.
Romeo Lane is very European. Exquisite crystal glassware is used for storing, mixing and serving. Spirits are decantered from their commercial bottles and displayed in antique crystal in front of tea light candles. Everything sparkles and glistens.
Possibly two of the best cocktails I have ever had.
Catherine Wheel by Rita
Rita treated me to a new cocktail they are testing for the new menu. My first impression was how pretty it is in the crystal coupe with its perfect little hearts on the top. It has a delicate, lovely fragrance and a sweet, peachy taste. The froth on top is like marshmallow. This cocktail was a real delight to the senses.
Mixed with H by Hine vsop cognac, Rinquinquin peach liqueur, lemon, sugar & egg white.
Coffin Shaker by Joe
In complete contrast to the Catherine Wheel by Rita, Joe makes a very masculine cocktail. He has a very classic style to his craft. This cocktail was very clever. Dry and heavier on the alcohol, it dazzled me with the way it revealed different expressions. Even a little honey flavour came through from the undertones of the Benedictine.
Mixed with Sipsmith London Dry, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Dolin Dry Vermouth & Benedictine. Fernet Branca (for heavy rinse) & orange twist to serve.
1a Crossley St, Melbourne
Open 12 p.m. – 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday, & Sunday by appointment only
“Love is alcohol.”
– Katherine Applegate