Drawing on a range of influences, from French-inspired terrines and pates to the salty nibbles of Tokyo’s izakayas, St Kilda’s newest venue brings fine drinking without the pretence to Melbourne’s bayside precinct.
Located on iconic Grey Street, Love&Dysfunction serves vintage cocktails with a twist, in a laid back environment. “We’re big fans of charcuterie and cheese boards but we’re not afraid of putting them on a menu next to share plates such as Asian pork noodle balls or lamb kofta,” says London-born owner, Reg Ridealgh.
While premium spirits and well-balanced cocktails have come to be associated with tight fitting vests and $100 brass swizzle sticks – Love&Dysfunction are taking a slightly different approach. “It’s the same quality of service – but a more accessible offering. We want everyone feel welcome at our venue,” says Ridealgh. Love&Dysfunction’s craft cocktails and wide range of top shelf spirits are served in classic style in vintage glassware. Signatures include Vieux Carre Cocktail, Bloody and Sandy and the classic Southside – aptly picked for Love&Dysfunction’s location. “The list is a homage to the birth and golden age of cocktails,” says Ridealgh. The entire front bar draws on its quintessential St Kilda vintage – with retro phones and cut glass decanters complementing ornate led lit windows and the building’s early 20th Century heritage.
Work your way through this dimly lit, prohibition-style bar to find relaxed chesterfield couches against an art deco inspired mural. An intimate list of predominantly Victorian craft beers and wine can also be enjoyed in the bar’s leafy courtyard space. Love&Dysfunction’s temperament might be laid back but Sunday sessions will be serious business; with BBQ smokers and food trucks taking residency beside the beer garden. “We are all about putting the easy in speakeasy,” says Ridealgh.