There’s a lot going on at Her, Lonsdale Street’s new four-concept mega-venue. At street level is Her Bar, a French-inspired all-day cocktail spot, and on level one you’ll find the Music Room, an ode to whisky and vinyl. BKK is on level three, it’s a “turbocharged Thai BBQ canteen” that also caters for Her Rooftop, a relaxed garden terrace for drinks, lunches, dinners and nightcaps.
This quadruple threat is the brainchild of HQ Group, the hospitality collective behind Arbory and Arbory Afloat, who picked up the five-storey, heritage-listed Pacific House building back in 2016. All four venues were finally ready to roll at the start of February 2022, just in time to help Melburnians emerge from their self-imposed Covid-19 cocoons in style.
But where to begin? If you’re ready to reacquaint yourself with society, then Her Bar is a good place to start. The street-level space sells itself as a “daytime” cocktail bar, although it slings French 75s and Dirty Gin Martinis until 3am. (If you’re an early bird, the doors swing open at 7am for pastries, lobster omelettes and Market Lane coffee.)
It’s a snug spot that sits 80 punters indoors (although not too close together) with a seductive salon vibe – think honey-toned walls, a rattan ceiling and a commanding zinc bar with fluted glass and timber liquor cabinets. High and low dining tables of stone and marble accompany tan leather banquettes across a striking red terrazzo floor, flanked by an acid-washed floor-to-ceiling mirror.
Wine director Marcus Ellis (ex-Melbourne Wine room) has put together a natural-leaning list of wines that are “authentic, engaging, food-friendly and most of all delicious.” Her Bar’s head chef Josh Rudd, formerly of Argentinian grill Asado, fires up the pans from noon with French bistro fare. Think steak tartare with anchovy mayonnaise and French fries and a cheeseburger with pickles, Dijon mustard and oozy raclette.