When spoken aloud in succession, the two words “bahama” and “gold” evoke the smoothness of a premium single-origin coffee brand. But come to this bar for coffee you do not; rather it’s a new wine bar and neighbour to sibling Old Palm Liquor. The name works because its wine list focuses on drops that are rare, meticulously taste-tested and singular - just like a good coffee should be.
Bahama Gold started out as a liquor delivery service in the dark days of lockdown, but has since transformed into a public bar and wine shop for the discerning explorer. The first thing you’ll notice upon walking into the cosy 12-seater is its warm golden lighting and generous outlook out onto the quietly hip Brunswick East end of Lygon Street. There seems to be no divide between inside the bar and outside, and passers-by spill in curiously.
Next, you’ll cast an eye over what is a very impressive sound system perched above the drinks fridge. Here it’s all about funky bottles, like pét nats and orange wines, and a bar-curated vinyl collection that will have you opening your Shazam app all night long. But don’t assume you won’t be fed well.
Though food isn’t necessarily the focus, Malaysian-born head chef Jane Low puts on a rotating menu of small plates that mark Bahama Gold as an interesting dining destination in its own right. While watching her chop fresh field mushrooms or preparing agnolotti by hand behind the bar, the level of comfort you feel is akin to being in the kitchen of someone you know well.
Low’s freshly baked housemade Tuscan bread is a regular, though the toppings change at the pace of her whimsy. One night, it might be tomato sambal; the next, honey and goat’s curd. A chicken leg with salsa verde could swiftly be replaced with a sticky Marmite pork belly at a moment's notice. But you can always expect cheese and eccentric cured meat selections to round out the menu.
Housed in the building is a 1,000-bottle-strong wine cellar featuring drops the team has collected over the past ten years, many of which are sourced from low intervention and small players. The attention to detail shines from the moment you walk in to peruse the wine list to the conversation with the bar staff that follows.
While Bahama Gold may be much smaller and newer than Old Palm Liquor, it’s no less characterful. Step in on your next free weeknight and ask Low for her recommendations. You're bound to encounter a pleasant surprise or two.