East Melbourne’s top spot for a tipple and a nibble
Nestled amongst the quiet streets and old red brick apartment blocks of East Melbourne you will find a lively bar and eatery where happy locals go to indulge in their favourite tipple.
Whether it’s a Friday night after a long week at the office or a pre-game beer and nibble before a game at the MCG, The Tippler & Co is where you should be.
Located in the heart of East Melbourne on Wellington Parade and only minutes from the MCG, the venue was once the old Café Balzac established in 1958 and has been through several changes before becoming The Tippler & Co in 2013.
The man behind the bar is Gus McAllister who established the bar and eatery along with wife Nicole after years in hospitality and a long stint travelling around Europe.
“We’ve tried hard to do a really good job. It’s been a really organic growth and people come here and they really like it,” Gus said.
The Tippler & Co has been tailored to suit any individual with five different sections and five different atmospheres. You can start your night off at the bar for after work drinks, or if you feel like being a little bit sophisticated you can grab a cocktail and head next door to a comfy room with gorgeous rustic wooden décor.
If you’re needing some intimacy, you can relax in a cosy dining setting, or if it’s a hot summer’s day you can pop outside for a drink and nibble in the recently refurbished courtyard. Bring your pooch along, too, because this place is totally dog-friendly.
Then you’ve got the upstairs area, which is an ideal function space for work parties and weddings.
With the design of the menu, Gus’ aim was to ensure everyone was kept well fed and always with a drink in hand. He envisioned people coming to The Tippler & Co to enjoy a good brew and share amazing food with each other, which is why their selection of tapas is always popular.
For those who can’t choose what to eat themselves (because the menu has too many great options) the venue has a ‘feed me’ alternative where they choose for you and it will not leave you disappointed.
Some options include their roast beetroot arancini served with a punchy gorgonzola sauce, their spicy smoked chicken ribs or their thrice cooked fries. The pulled pork soft shell taco is also delectable and the roast cauliflower salad is a long-time favourite.
You will need to save some room in your stomach though because the highlight of the night will be the ginger and date pudding with salted butter caramel and deep-fried ice-cream. It will literally make you gasp when it reaches the table and the crunch of the batter on that deep fried ice-cream combined with the caramel sauce will take you to heaven. Divine.
For those wanting a more substantial meal, the menu also has several dine-in options that will keep you satisfied.
Looking to the future, Gus wants to continue improving the venue with the aim to be open seven days a week and trading every day for lunch. There is also a possibly of food delivery and room service to the apartments next door. He believes the venue will reach its full potential in five years with so many more exciting ideas to come: “You name it, we will give it a go.”
There’s no doubt that The Tippler & Co is a favourite for the locals and its popularity will continue to extend to punters from all over Melbourne as people come to know about it as a wonderful place for a tipple and a nibble. Watch this space.
By Sarah Lamont
The Tippler & Co
t: (03) 9416 0618
a: 58 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria