If you turn up to Good Measure in the daytime you will see a studenty crowd quaffing down coffee and cheesecake while someone spins retro rock on the prominent turntable. This modest shopfront, sandwiched between the traditional Italian eateries on Lygon Street, is like an ’80s chardonnay inside: heavily wooded and going for big, bold flavours. Run by a team of mates, it’s a slashie that seems more confident in its daytime guise when it is turning out coffee and sandwiches but is a bit more hit-and-miss in the evenings when the cocktail shakers come out.
If you are going to offer a short, seasonal menu then every cocktail needs to hit the mark. Options like a Strawberry Cream Spritz or Bergamot White Russian sound exciting but an equally brave-sounding Choc Blood Orange Martini lacks the punch of either chocolate or orange or for that matter, alcohol. Similarly, a Mandarin Negroni Blanc also falls a bit flat and makes you yearn for the original. The housemade rhubarb lemonade has potential, but is lip-curlingly tart.
Things improve with the curated taps sitting behind the wooden bar. A wall full of ever-changing taps keeps the brew fans happy with craft offerings like Garage Project Peach Sour, Bellwoods Coffee stout and Stomping Ground’s Pale Ale. There is also a clever selection of wines from popular new styles like the Dirty Black Denim rose pét nat to creations from Melbourne Sake.
The place is busy day and night and the service is warm and friendly. The space was home to an old cycle shop that traded for over 80 years and the team has taken great care to open it up with a light frontage, and a bar surrounded by wood and an impressive collection of vinyl, and the aforementioned twin decks that soundtrack your visit.
Good Measure is a popular neighbourhood all-rounder whether you come for a coffee in the morning or a lunchtime glass of wine. The wheels don’t completely come off in the evening service, but then Melbourne is a town with some stiff competition when it comes to cocktail bars and this one needs to work on a few things before it can measure up with the best.