In the true essence of a heartbreaker, expect to fall in love at first sight with this bad boy.
A moody, LA-inspired drinking den in the centre of the city, Heartbreaker is a quiet achiever doing extraordinary things, promising a good soundtrack, great atmosphere and even better drinks, seven nights a week.
It’s the product of Michael Madrusan, who has more years experience in the hospitality industry than some of his visitors have had in their lifetime. He’s tended bars for two decades in Australia, London and New York and has worked in some of the best bars around the world, including New York’s Milk & Honey, Little Branch and Please Don’t Tell. In Melbourne he’s best known for Fitzroy cocktail bar, The Everleigh, which is consistently lauded as one of the best bars in the city.
However, the Fitzroy bar has started to share its accolades with its younger sibling as city dwellers wake up to its appeal. At Heartbreaker, Michael sticks to the same refinement you’ve come to expect – using just four ingredients or less, the drinks are always sharp and pure. Even the ice is considered: the bar team uses Navy Strength Ice, Australia’s first boutique hand-cut ice company, which provides crystal-clear blocks of ice to fit each drink perfectly. It’s these types of personal touches that keep guests coming back.
Once you step off the corner curb and into Heartbreaker’s welcoming arms, expect to find a bigger-than-it-appears space with a pool table, jukebox, wood panelling, black vinyl banquettes and red neon lights. The soundtrack consists of seventies classic rock tunes from legends like Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin, and with lighting that just reveals faces, it’s the perfect environment to get those dancing shoes on.
Best of all, there’s no waiting for a cocktail. Single-serve bottled cocktails come courtesy of sister company, The Everleigh Bottling Co. Made with the same ethos that pervades both Heartbreaker and The Everleigh, the premium cocktail range includes classics such as the Manhattan, Martini, Old Fashioned and Negroni, with new additions exclusive to Heartbreaker, such as the Coffee House – a delicious mix of coffee liqueur, tequila and orange bitters. There’s also a vast selection of whisky and other spirits, ready to be consumed and regretted the next morning.
If you’re more of a beer drinker, the impressive, constantly rotating list of craft beer is listed on a menu board opposite the bar – order one of eight on tap or turn to the range of bottles, both local and imported.
No need to dip out for food, Heartbreaker now houses Connie’s Pizza, another of Michael’s ventures – a New York-style pizza joint nestled in the corner under gleaming neon. Connie’s goes by the tagline ‘late night, ate right’, and is dedicated to serving a concise menu of 18-inch pizzas by the slice or pie right through until close. Connie’s also caters to the ravenous inner-city lunch crowd, opening at midday from Friday to Sunday.
With lashings of sass and glamour, Heartbreaker is busy, dark, loud, late and most importantly, lots of fun. Just as it promises, expect to have your heart broken – but only when the lights come up at 3am.