Yellow Bird Café
In the pursuit of a different type of bar experience I ended up at Yellow Bird Café. Despite driving or walking past this Windsor address hundreds of times, I’d never been in for some reason. A café and bar with a generous amount of outdoor seating right on busy Chapel St, it’s usually packed all day and night Friday through to Sunday. Now I know what I was missing, I can’t believe it took me so long!
The Budgie Smuggler
This place is cool without trying. It’s lost the typical Chapel St pretentiousness and makes its own rules. Located on the corner of Dukes Street at the Windsor end of Chapel, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but step inside and you realise there’s more to this place than meets the eye. American diner style booths, share tables and retro chairs, gig posters and memorabilia, along with fake birds, fake plants and fake flowers, fill this offbeat bar with character. There’s nothing to compare it to and it’s a difficult space to describe, but I assume the concept is a bird aviary.
Grungy bars are becoming more and more popular across Melbourne, especially on the North side of the river and it’s just what the stuffy south side needed. I can’t help but think that it’s an expression of the hipster movement. Cookie cutter bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants have simply stopped trying to be cool and are finding their unique identity. They call them dive bars and they come with a tone of indifference, loud music and a good dose of ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude. It’s added to the culture and colour of our ever-exciting city.
It’s 11pm on Sunday night and the speakers are belting out ACDC at Yellow Bird. They have a well stocked cocktail bar and it appears they smuggled the budgie with the venue’s mascot, a giant yellow budgerigar, overseeing the action from behind the bar.
Some Like It Hot!
I get the feeling from the cocktail list that these guys like it hot with a number of spicy options made from their house chilli infused spirits. I chose the Café del Diablo made with spiced tequila, Kahlua and espresso – Yellow Bird’s version of the espresso martini, and its an excellent drink!
1/122 Chapel Street, Windsor VIC 3181
Open 7 Days, 8am till late
“I don’t look like someone who leans on a mantelpiece with a cocktail in my hand,
– Charles Bronson