You know you’re a proper Collingwood local when you ditch Smith St for places like Rupert on Rupert. Stumbling on this sky-lighted, forest-filled bar is unlikely–it’s tucked into industrial backstreets, another brick and steel construction among Collingwood’s creative agencies and miscellaneous trendiness–you kind of need a local to let you in on the secret.
And what a secret it is. Wander down Rupert St on a Friday night and this place is absolutely PUMPING. The space is totally unique too: a vaulted light-filled atrium decked out in industrial-mod finishings and a cheeky splash of tartan (on weekends it doubles as a popular function and wedding reception space).
Rupert is the lovechild of Collingwood husband-and-wife team Ric and Mali Corinaldi. Ric also had a hand in the sleek fit outs at De Clieu, Traveller and Madame Brussels, so it’s no wonder the space is gorgeous. You walk through the big glass side doors and enter a beer-pumping botanical gardens, all wavy palm fronds and on-tap craft beers. There are seven rotating brews on tap, plus a quirky cocktail list (Ric and Mali always keep three cocktails on there under $15).
Need something to line your Friday-night stomach? Rupert has an unpretentious menu built around quality produce and a kickass home-cultured sourdough. It’s that dough that goes into the restaurant’s wood-fired pizzas: a bubbling and blistered base, topped with combos like pumpkin, ricotta and hazelnut pesto, or nduja, zucchini, Napoli sauce and basil. Work parties might opt for a few of the smaller share plates too. We recommend the smoked ham hock and beef brisket croquette (ridiculous) or the roast pork belly with mojo picon, padron peppers and crispy pork crackling.
Yep, Smith St may hog the limelight, but if you want to get a taste of the real Collingwood, get on down to Rupert on Rupert.
Image credit: Griffin Simm