With news that a certain boy wizard has finally hit the Melbourne stage, it makes sense that the whole city has gone a little magic crazy (maybe we’re under the confundus charm, who’s to say?)
Bourke Street’s Imperial Hotel has decided to tip its hat to literature’s most famous wizarding world by transforming its rooftop into Vertic Alley, a spellbinding pop-up bar at the top end of the city.
The Imperial has called in the help of Cremorne-based designers Looma Custom Build Co. to help with the transformation. Each of the pub’s rooftop booths has been taken over my six magical “stores”, including owl shop The Owlery, book shop Spring St Spell Books, toy shop Impossible Feats of Trickery, wand shop Bourke St Wands, antique store Wills and Burke and wizarding bank WIZPAC Bank. These booths can be reserved for groups of 10 to 20 guests on the Imperial’s website.
As well as the fit out, guests will also be able to imbibe on house-made “potions”. You can try the Liquid Luck (Ketel One citron, vanilla Galliano, lemon and apricot), Expecto Martini (vodka, Kahlua, espresso and cinnamon syrup), Pumpkin Juice (Fireball, pumpkin juice, lemon and egg white) and house-made Buttah Beer (it's real beer) served with whipped cream and cinnamon. There’s even a non-alcoholic version of the Buttah Beer for little ones (it's more of a milkshake).
Food-wise, there’s a series of shared plates that go well with the theme including cursed wings (extra spicy chilli fried chicken wings with sticky sesame), Imperial pumpkin pasties, bezeors (AKA pea and mozzarella arancini), Gillyweed tacos, Siriusly black sliders and fresh oysters “from the great lake”.
The Imperial's Vertic Alley is open seven days a week, from 11am until late.