Classic cocktails and outstanding service is at the top of the menu at The Everleigh in Fitzroy.
Reflecting the values of its big sister bar, Milk and Honey in New York, The Everleigh is run by a family dedicated to creating a homely, intimate atmosphere while serving up a cocktail menu that is constantly changing.
While The Everleigh may be difficult to find, it’s not impossible. To enter, you’ll be whisked inside an American diner, through a dimly lit hallway and then up a flight of stairs. Guests will feel like they’re stepping into the past, with old-world décor such as deer heads, leather booths, wooden floors and a marble bar dotted throughout.
Founder and principal bartender, Michael Madrusan, has tended bars for nearly 20 years in Australia, London and New York. He has worked in some of the best bars around the world, including Little Branch and PDT. An ambitious renovation of The Everleigh in 2017 by Michael and his family has reinvigorated the six-year-old Fitzroy staple, extending the bar with sleek Tasmanian and American oak while incorporating more nooks and crannies for a secluded dram. The glittering chandelier taking up prime position behind the bar has been in Michael’s family for generations, brought over from Italy when the family moved to Australia.
With an immense cocktail book on display, not to mention a new aperitif menu and vintage spirit range – anyone for a 1950s Gordon’s gin martini? – there are big decisions to be made here. For the indecisive, there’s always the bartender’s choice, or a chance to discuss your favourite fresh fruits, flavours, spirits and preferred style of drink for the bar staff to create the perfect drop.
Attention to detail sets The Everleigh apart from the hundreds of other bars in the area, right down to the ice – the block of choice is from Navy Strength Ice Co., Australia’s first boutique hand-cut ice company. Delivering a 140kg block of ice every three days, bartenders cut it down to the desired size so that it perfectly fits your drink. It’s this personal touch that keeps guests coming back for more.
Since opening the intimate space in July 2011, the bar has been dubbed Bar of the Year by Gourmet Traveller in 2013, The Age in 2012, and Time Out in 2015, who also hailed it as Cocktail Bar of the Year in 2014.
The accolades keep on coming, and for locals it’s no surprise – this is one of Fitzroy’s best.