Smoked meats, Texan-style BBQ and Southern-themed dishes have taken their rightful place in Melbourne’s food scene and show no sign of disappearing anytime soon, which is great for Tonino Cordisco and his venue The Gem Bar in Collingwood. The result of trips to America, extensive research into authentic cooking techniques and even a smoke pit imported from Houston, the focus may be split between bar, dining and music, but all three are made a passionate priority by Cordisco.
When the food, the drinks and the tunes are this good, you’ve got a winning combo – which draws people into this very unassuming venue week after week. From 4 – 7pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, you can enjoy half-price tacos, wings & Texas fries with $6 pints in the ultimate, almost never-ending Happy Hour, with the bar open from 12pm Fridays to Sundays if you want to start here earlier on in the day. Be sure to head to their website at the beginning of each month and check the Gig Guide to nd out which bands and DJs are featured and plan your visit accordingly. There’s even a private dining that you can book, where you can get the Gem guys to put on one of their delicious banquets.
The meat is cooked slow, the mood is chilled, and it’s all about kicking back and relaxing while surrounded by Americana, preferably with a cold beer in your hand. Don’t worry about what you’re wearing; life shouldn’t be about stress and fuss. Come here, spend your time and money wisely, they are both very precious… just like The Gem.