16 Russell Place, Melbourne
BarAmigo’s two pesos – Quality drinks, food and atmosphere… something good has come out of France
When visited – Fri 30 Mar 2012 8.30pm to 9.30pm
Bar Ampere is a French influenced bar with quality drinks and cocktails. Can’t go wrong with the same formula as Gin Palace. Typical Melbourne bar down that laneway…
Its my last Friday night before beginning my Alcohol Free April. After many beers at after work drinks I’m late to catch up with my mates… Thankfully they have chosen Bar Ampere cause I’m after some place kinda quiet to catch up with the guys rather than a place which is tough to talk and needing to battle for a place to sit.
Bar Ampere is done by the same people who do Gin Palace and Madame Brussels. If you like Gin Palace, you’d like Bar Ampere. Quality cocktails, table service, and character. French influenced as indicated through its name and also the menu. Grab a quality drink and some small snack to keep you going.
Hitting up Bar Ampere on a Friday night and I can’t help but think that its cannibalising the market of Gin Palace. Same kinda crowd and vibe. The people here are those who are looking for a pre dinner drink or have just finished dinner and are looking for a cocktail to finish the night.
Trois Mont is our choice of beer at $25 for a long neck. Packs a punch at over 8% alcohol and hence the price tag. Perfect to split between the 3 of us. Goes quite well with the Potted Pork Rillette ($10.50). Just make sure you keep asking for more bread. Art is a Weapon Pale Ale at $9 a pop rounds it off our drinks. Both quality beers and quality food. Last time I was here I had a whisky sour (geez I’m predictable with my cocktails) and it went down very nicely. Expect $17-$20+ for a cocktail. And they are worth it.
The tables out the front of Bar Ampere fill up reasonably quickly. But the reasonably high turnover with the pre/post dinner crowd means you won’t be waiting too long for a table outside. Good for a balmy evening. If you’re wanting some seating space for a bigger group the room out the back caters for this perfectly. There’s a “secret entrance” to Gin Palace out the back, well actually not that secret once you actually walk out there, so you can alternate between the two bars if you really want.
Crowd wise it tends to be late 20s through to early 40s. Generally a more cultured crowd sticking to themselves at their tables. Atmosphere is similar to Gin Palace cause I guess its the kind of crew who would tend to go to Gin Palace but have just found out about Bar Ampere and wanna try something new or different. The patrons are dressed as if they are going for a dinner at a fancy restaurant. But you’d be right with jeans and casual shoes if that’s the kind of night you’re after. Not sure if they’d let me bring some of my cigars to smoke here but it’s that kind of place that I’d feel comfortable lighting up.
Bar Ampere is about catching up with friends over that quality drink and food. If you’re sticking around for a few hours expect that bar tab to get quite high. But you’d certainly have a good night.
BarAmigo – Your friend at the bar
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