Good old Collingwood forever, they know how to play the game. It’s no secret that Collingwood’s bar game is excessively strong, with some of Melbourne’s best bars, Mr Wow’s Emporium, Le Bon Ton, and Thomas Olive, all doing their bit on the field. Now there’s a new player on the team and we’re happy to have him on board. Introducing Rupert, a great place off the beaten track for friendly service, shared food and local brews.
About two years ago, Ric Corinaldi decided it was time for a change from his career as co-director of Fiscus Construction, he just needed the right space and the right people to realise this vision. Enter Radar Rad, manager of Prudence in North Melbourne, and Tyron Bremner, Maître D at Footscray’s The Plough. Together they have created Rupert bar, which Corinaldi describes as, ‘an easy place to work in and an even easier place to hang out in.’
Rupert’s logo, the Red Fox, embodies all they wish to create with the space; it’s obscure, secretive, hidden and stylish. ‘It’s a place where we encourage sharing and exploring new things, from exciting cocktails to wonderful fresh food to craft beers and ciders on tap,’ explains Corinaldi.
During the day, Rupert is flooded with natural light, reaching every corner of the high ceilings and keeping the many plants alive and very happy. The interior features detailed steel, birch ply paneling and soft plaid furnishings. As the sun fades, the bar and restaurant fills with soft golden light from lamps hanging overhead, making Rupert chilled out enough to have a catch up with friends, and certainly nice enough to take a date. ‘It’s a relaxed atmosphere with groovy beats being loaded by either the bar team or our in-house DJ,’ says Corinaldi. Visitors can sit at one of the two big windows and watch the industrial environment of Collingwood, relax in the laneway, share a big communal table in the central dining area, or find a cosy corner suitable for two.
The beers on tap at Rupert are sourced as locally as possible, with the likes Moon Dog, Two Birds, Prickly Moses and Mountain Goat all representing Victoria. Rupert is currently running with five cocktails made with fresh seasonal fruit, using the juices and also making their own syrups. It doesn’t get much more refreshing than their Working With Watermelons cocktail, made with tequila, lime, agave and fresh watermelon with a chilli-salt rimmed glass. Ex-Beaufort manager, Maxwell Finch, is at the helm and we assure you, you’re in good hands.
When it comes to the menu, there is an emphasis on sharing at Rupert; think sourdough pizzas, a stellar charcuterie board, and pork scratching for a bar snack. Head chef Megan Morgan and Michael McGaveston have created a modern menu with a Mediterranean feel that takes its cues from traditional recipes, using local and seasonal produce. Try the Debrenceni (Hungarian Paprika spiced red sausage) pizza, with floridia mozzarella, confit garlic, olive oil, chimichurri, fresh chilli and sliced red onion.
Rupert is already up and running, but they’ll be celebrating their official opening night on Saturday the 21st of February. They are currently open from Wednesday through to Sunday, but considering they’ve just opened they are still ironing out a few details, so stay tuned for more permanent trading hours.
Rupert is off to a flying start and those who want to go on adventure in Collingwood beyond Smith St will be rewarded with good times and excellent food. There are also plans to set up an informal coffee cart in their internal laneway between 7am-2.30pm, so watch this space.
Image Credits: Sabine Legrand