When a man who knows his wine teams up with a man who knows his cocktails and they decide to open up a bar, how could it be anything but amazing? Ryan Agar and Asher Spitz have taken the space at the front of established Sri Lankan eatery Araliya St Kilda to create a bar affectionately known as Mrs Hopper, and you’ll be hard pressed to find two nicer guys with a shared passion for hospitality and a good sense of humour.
Named after the Sri Lankan bowl pancakes made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, at Mrs Hopper you can pair your booze with delicious food from the Araliya kitchen (including hoppers of course) while you watch Asher shaking and blending his creations in front of you. The bar’s take on a Mule sees Sri Lankan arrak replacing vodka and blended with ginger beer and fresh lime, while other cocktails utilise Asher’s home-made syrups, shrubs and tinctures in an effort to keep everything other than the spirits themselves as home-made as possible. But then there’s Ryan, wowing customers with his extensive wine knowledge gleaned from working with wine companies for many years, and this has influenced the beautiful wine list which celebrates varieties from around the world. There’s not a bad drop on there and you’ll be guided as to what pairs with the food if you choose to dine.
The boys have a saying that “It’s always Happy Hour at Mrs Hopper” and have curated a special little menu with lovely options that won’t break the bank, but are sure to make you very happy.
Hop on a tram, hop in a car, just do yourself a favour and hop along to Mrs Hopper.