When Bluebonnet Barbecue re-emerged at The North Fitzroy Star after a fire that closed the original Collingwood venue, it only seemed fitting that Chris Terlikar decided to call the front bar Loretta’s after the burner which started the blaze. One could say if it wasn’t for that fateful day, Loretta’s may never have taken shape and there would be one less amazing bar in Melbourne…and we couldn’t have that now could we?
Specialising in fine American and Australian whiskies, the bar is run by Oscar Eastman (ex. Eau-de-Vie) who is passionate about celebrating seasonal produce and has created some very tongue in cheek libations with a few nods to the US and Aussie elections, and candidates that are equally dramatic in presentation, but a whole lot more palatable. There is an emphasis on using fresh local ingredients in the beverages and Oscar has also taken to bottling his own bootleg tinctures including a delicious cumquat brandy used in some of the beverages he prepares. Ten beers and ales feature on rotating taps and you’re welcome to order food from next door to eat up at the bar.
If you enjoy going to a reliable place where you get a bit of theatre and a drinks list that’s considered and humorous, you won’t be disappointed with Loretta’s, a local that’s emerged from the flames of tragedy, bringing with it warmth and a spark of ingenuity.