Collingwood’s backstreets are home to Rupert on Rupert, an eyeball-wooing bar and restaurant graced with high ceilings, light-drenched interiors and a mini forest’s worth of pot plants and trees. Ric Corinaldi and his wife Mali opened Rupert in 2015 and have since made it synonymous with cool cocktails, kicked-back Sunday sessions and many bespoke weddings.
It makes sense as soon as you enter the big, heavy glass door that separates Rupert from its namesake Collingwood sidestreet. This place is so pretty it deserves a Hollywood screen test. Think big, brown Chesterfield couches paired with finely crafted wooden tables, an atrium-style roof and rooms flooded with greenery. Out the back, there are two custom-made fireplaces which come in handy when winter rears its very chilly head. There's also a sexy cocktail lounge out the back which is perfect for private dinner parties or events.
Now, if you can tear yourself away from the interiors, you'll be able to settle down for a cheeky drink or even a full-blown meal as Rupert is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Be sure to check the venue's website or Instagram in the lead up to a visit as they may be closed for private events.
Even on a weekday, this light, bright and pared-back restaurant is buzzing. Head chef Samuel Wilson has put together a menu that’s made for sharing – but there are a couple bigger dishes you’ll want to hog all to yourself. Charcoaled ricotta gnocchi is saddled with butternut pumpkin and hazelnuts and drizzled with burnt butter, while slices of sumac cured kingfish are paired with preserved lemon sour cream and brik pastry. The grilled squid and chickpea falafel are standouts too, as are the house sourdough wood-fired pizzas (try the pear and prosciutto one).
Drinks-wise, there’s currently a native Australian anchor meaning you can get bold and spiced twists on regular cocktails. There’s the Myrtle Vesper, which puts Hippocampus vodka beside Lillet Blanc wine and lemon myrtle, as well as the Old Anzac, which has wattleseed-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon with crème de cacao, golden syrup, coconut and more wattleseed. The winner here is the Japples, a $10 whisky, ginger syrup, lime and freshly pressed apple situation.
Aside from cocktails, the bar also serves up a handpicked selection of beers, wines in every colour (even the so-hot-right-now orange) and a hefty selection of straight spirits that span from Guatemalan rum to Polish vodka and gin from Byron Bay. Live DJs also perform at Rupert regularly so you’ll get a bit of atmosphere for your buck as well.
If you’re thinking of hosting an event in this greenhouse bar (and make the best use of that famed plant-filled indoor laneway) Rupert is always on hand to collaborate. In the past, the venue has hosted anything from intimate gatherings to full-venue takeovers. Take one look at Rupert’s Instagram and you’ll have all the #eventinspo you’ll need.