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  • Coburg
  1. Large modern piece of art work in a wine bar with plush green sofas, colourful rugs and bright yellow ottomans.
  2. Plates of food, napkins, cutlery and glasses of wine on a table at a wine bar.
  3. Bottle of wine and two glasses of white wine on table in the foreground of a plush green sofa.
  4. Modern bar setting housed within a heritage-listed prison site.

Time Out says

Escape to Olivine: a smart, cosy wine bar nestled inside 170-year-old heritage listed walls

As one of Australia’s oldest prisons and home once to Ned Kelly’s grave, Pentridge Prison is a Melbourne site that needs no introduction. Whether it’s your first time or a long overdue revisit, the prison deserves a fresh pair of eyes since new redevelopments have crowned what was once a miserable space into what is now fondly known as the Pentridge Precinct: a quirky and modern destination for play, shopping, food and drinks. 

One of those additions is Olivine, the distinctive and stylish new wine bar housed in Pentridge’s stone-walled B-division. It’s a bit of a journey to get there. You’ll need to roam through the ominous arched walkway and past flickering candles into a dark and gloomy foyer. But once you’re in, you won’t want to leave despite your austere setting. Olivine's hosts are determined to make you feel like you’re in good hands. The opulent yet mysterious bar is packed full of alcoves, perfect for dates, wine tastings, or even confidential business meetings. 

You’ll discover lively art, plush teal lounges and intimate tables that seem like they belonged there long before they were brought in. The wine list, beautifully illustrated by sommelier Liinaa Berry, traverses the globe gracefully. Taste bottles from Europe, Australia and beyond, all guided by a sommelier who knows his riesling from his Roussane. If your curiosity proves insatiable, a walk-in cellar awaits.  

The food menu isn’t necessarily the main star, but a welcome complement nonetheless. Experiment by cradling some raw tuna tartare and truffle cream into a house-made rye crisp, or dig into a juicy pork fritter with a verdant ravigote dressing and tarragon; the sky’s the limit. Other highlights of the menu include chicken liver parfait with muscat and brown tuille and the petit choux with cream cheese and caviar. It’s high-fat stuff, sure, but no less delectable in the context.

Whether it provides the scope for your next suburban weeknight venture or sets the scene to try a wine you’ve always been curious about, Olivine is a memorable new wine bar that keeps the vibe of Pentridge Prison alive and refreshed – and that alone makes it well worth a visit. 

Explore more interesting wine bars with our list of the best in Victoria, or check out what else is happening in Coburg

Lauren Dinse
Written by
Lauren Dinse


1 Pentridge Boulevard
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