South Yarra has a new kid on the block, and as the last standing house on Wilson Street they are throwing one heck of a house party. You would be forgiven if you had to do a double take and fumbled in your pockets for the keys to a Delorean as you passed Leonards House Of Love. It’s a step back in time into “a log cabin with a ski chalet in the 1970s feel,” explains co-owner Mark Catsburg.
The brother bar to The Sweetwater Inn, Leonards House Of Love is challenging the social-norms of South Yarra’s bar scene. It was apparently a no brainer, as the courtyard is unbelievable and also holds a 3am licence. The House of Love was dreamt up by its four owners—Mark Catsburg, Jonathon Harper, Guy Bentley and Nick Stanton, with some help from Hannah Parkie who has given up the warmer weather of Brisbane to manage the show.
The menu is headed up by Nick Stanton of Longhorn Saloon, Nieuw Amsterdam and Woods of Windsor fame. Taking a step away from his usual fine dining scene, this is a menu where he “wanted to have a lot of fun.” Serving up both fried and charcoal chicken, try the Chicken Tenders with pickles and buttermilk sauce, or the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner—a charcoal chicken feast. They also have their own take on poutine, with spicy chipotle bolognaise fries topped with cheese sauce and spring onion. And if meat ain’t your thing, they have catered to many tastes with the Winner, Winner Vegan Dinner. Winning.
If you’re not already sold, “we still thought there was room to make the best burgers,” the House of Love team add. And with mouth-watering morsels such as the Double Cheeseburger with a double brisket patty, special sauce, cheese, onion and green oak lettuce, or the Smoked Mushroom Burger, we are glad they made room. With a kitchen that’s open late, it makes for the perfect place to finish your night or to stay on and keep partying till close.
Leonards House Of Love will transport you straight back to the ‘70s without having to don a thick tache or a vibrant shirt and flairs combo. The log cabin or “chicken shack” as Mark refers to it, is replete with a pool table and, when the timing is right, the TV cabinet transforms into a DJ booth to help you boogie the night away. As you settle in with a drink in one hand and food in the other, you’ll discover the myriad of little nooks and crannies catering to however big your posse may be.
Let us say no more and let Leonards House of Love speak for itself, or as the team says, “Less honkin’ more tonkin’, that’s sort of our motto.”
Image credit: Nick West for The Urban List