The Mill House takes Prohibition to Flinders Lane, uniting a modern approach to drinking and dining with an old-school hospitality vibe.
Housed in a heritage-listed building that was once a flourmill, it has carved a name for itself amongst regulars in the CBD, becoming one of ‘the’ spots for crafted cocktails, tasty bites and a good-time atmosphere.
The basement eatery and bar in Tomasetti House takes inspiration from the American era in both its design and drinks: restored bluestone walls form the foundations on which brass finishes and beechwood fixtures sit, while moonshine takes precedence on the beverage list.
The clever concept was created by the Millett family, who have a long and illustrious career in hospitality throughout Sydney, Byron Bay and Melbourne. For this particular venture, owner Christian Millett, licensee James Yates and Andy Cowan took control, working together for more than a year to create the unique space.
There may be room for 400, but The Mill House has a distinct small-bar vibe, with lots of intimate nooks and crannies and circular leather booths around the large central bar. Take a seat and start perusing the menu – with so many options you may need some time to decide what to start with.
Moonshine sits front and centre here, with 15 varieties sourced from four distilleries around the world. Turn to the bartenders for advice on how to drink it; they’ll let you know which flavour combination is best. Cocktails also hero the American spirit – the Tardy to the Party mixes Melbourne Moonshine with raspberry schnapps, fresh raspberries and sours, while the Miss American Pie combines Apple Pie moonshine with Fireball whisky, sours and cloudy apple juice.
However, they’re not the only options: the Lady Chelsea infuses Edgerton pink gin with hibiscus syrup, absinthe, cranberry juice and sours, while the classic espresso martini is made with Ketel One vodka, Kahlua, Licor 43 and Li le Drippa.
Once you’re sitting and sipping, turn to the food. Head Chef, Augustin Ortega, has expanded the definition of ‘American food’ to include both the north and south continents, dishing up flavours that would be familiar to the people of both Peru and Portland. Despite the international flavours, there’s something distinctly Australian about the ingredients used; poultry, meat and lamb are all sourced locally, as is the majority of fruit and vegetables.
Just in for nibbles? Order the Peruvian fried chicken, a crowd favourite served with pisco syrup and green onion. The chargrilled octopus with hummus, pickled onions and red cabbage puree will disappear quickly, as will the corn croquettes.
Need to fill yourself up for the night ahead? Braised Wagyu beef brisket comes with crushed potatoes, green chilli and chimichurri, while the Chicharron focaccia is stuffed with crispy pork, roast sweet potatoes, onion slaw and beer-battered fries.
When all the eating is said and done, put your dancing shoes on – the Mill House operates late into the night, welcoming a rotating roster of DJs. It’s just one of the elements that places the bar on so many people’s ‘go-to’ list – where else can you drink, dine and dance without making a move?