Bars & Pubs

Apollo Inn, The Swish 30-Seat Cocktail Bar And Sibling To Gimlet, Is Here

By Rick Stephens
8th Jun 2023

For the last six months or so, a groundswell has been building around Andrew McConnell and Jo McGann’s sibling bar to Gimlet. Until now, however, details have been scarce, and outside of a location and the fact the space will be cocktail-forward, the powerhouse duo has kept tightlipped. 

Today, however, McConnell and McGann have spilled the tea on their first stand-alone cocktail bar, titled Apollo Inn. The name—a tip-of-the-hat to one of the first public houses in Melbourne and also where Gimlet calls home—is a fitting label for the 1920s neo-renaissance building that Apollo Inn sits within, and inside you’ll find this old-world charm matched. 

The intimate space references the timeless cocktail bars of Europe. There are nods to tradition, though splashes of modern sensibilities are seen throughout the space and the cocktail list. Ageless classic—including four Martini offerings—are served to precision as expected at any McConnell establishment, though bar manager Cameron Parish is bringing along several signatures to Apollo Inn, too. 

Highlights include but certainly aren’t limited to the Lucien Gaudin featuring gin, Campari, dry vermouth, Grand Marnier; then there’s the Picon Bierre, a combination of house-made amaro and crisp French lager. The wine list, curated by Trader House beverage director Leanne Altmann, is available by the glass and bottle and sourced from Gimlet’s extensive cellar. 

Apollo Inn will also serve a considered food offering with a prawn and spanner crab club sandwich and the classic beef carpaccio surely the heroes of the menu, while au naturale Sydney rock oysters and McConnell favourite, a créme caramel, bookend the menu.

As always, McConnell and McGann work to a standard that’s unmatched in Melbourne, and arguably set by themselves and their quiver of Trader House venues. 

“It’s a singular focus at Apollo Inn; to ensure that what’s in the glass and on the plate are delicious and benchmark,” McConnell said.

Apollo Inn is located at 165 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Bookings open on their website today.

Check out more movements in Melbourne’s hospitality scene here

Image credit: Earl Carter

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