How’s this for a pedigree. A 70s disco bar from the guys behind Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, Saigon Sally, San Telmo and Pastuso. Phew. Lend us a broom to sweep up the names we just dropped.
Impala is Windsor’s classy new cocktail bar, perched above Nicolas Coulter, Michael Parker, Dave Parker and Simon Blacher’s new seafood digs, Neptune. Wander up the stairs and you’ll cop an eyeful of disco ball, rotating in the corner, throwing light onto palm leaf wallpaper and black leather banquet seats. It’s Rum Diaries meets Eyes Wide Shut, with a smidge of Saturday Night Fever thrown in.
“The Chapel St precinct has been crying out for a venue that’s tastefully fun,” Coulter says. “Impala is all about good booze and tunes in a welcoming, yet refined setting.”
Good booze and tunes. Let’s dig a little deeper. Impala has something that’s still a bit of a novelty in Melbourne: an exclusive in-house whiskey locker. If you haven’t been to Tokyo, you might not have seen these—individual glowing glass cabinets, stocked with your very own bottle of malt. Makes a gorgeous feature wall.
The cocktail list is no slouch either. Start with the signature Mrs Belleville, a frothy mix of gin and Fernet Menta, shaken up with peach, ginger liqueur and egg whites. For a trip south of the border, it’s gotta be the El Mezcalero, a punchy mescal bomb with Australian Amaro, yellow Chartreuse, wild hibiscus syrup and hopped grapefruit bitters.
The cocktails lean towards the classy, sloshed-after-three-sips variety. But even spirit newbies will find something to tempt the away from the craft beers. Pair your poison with some 70s-style bar snacks, including a delightfully retro prawn cocktail.
Windsor, you’re too good to us. Truly.
Image credit: Impala