Tucked away in a Bourke Street terrace, Peekaboo Bar captures the heart and soul of what small bars should be. It’s cozy, welcoming and articulate; its style is upbeat and offbeat, creative, fun and entirely refreshing. It’s the kind of place that as you leave, you can’t wait till you go back.
Brought back to life from dereliction and years of disuse, this cubbyhole bar is a perfect fit inside the shell of what once was an old workman’s cottage.
Stripped down to its undies, the refurb of this beautiful old venue sings of that prohibition style we love so much. Bare brick and sandstone, exposed ceiling beams and old shelves full of tankards and lanterns, Peekaboo gives you that old-world welcome from the moment you walk through the arched brick doorway.
From behind the deep wooden bar, Sam greeted us with a smile and tempted us with her favourites from the cocktail list.
Mrs Romance went for one of Peekaboo’s gin creations, The Cheshire. Served in a pewter pot the mix of gin, Aperol, honey water and topped with grapefruit granita, this cocktail had Mrs R smiling like its namesake.
I couldn’t go past the Nucky’s Manhattan. It’s a smart take on my favourite rye cocktail – a mix of rye, chocolate liqueur and bitters served over two enormous blocks of ice and the all-important cherry.
Feeling like a couple of old-time smugglers up from the nearby docks, we tucked ourselves away in the front room with a view through the arched window onto the street. The booths in here are tiny and intimate, and perfect for conspiring.
When the charcuterie board arrived we were astounded at the kitchen’s generosity.
With little of the board below it showing, the spread was ample. Thinly sliced roast wagyu, garlic supresso and tender prosciutto, soft white cheese called dauphinoise, a nutty hard goats cheese, and a delicious blue from Tasmania.
There was a ramekin of mango chutney, a little stack of mini pickles and a pot of mixed olives and caper berries. And to finish the deal, a plentiful stack of lavosh style crackers covered any remaining space on the platter.
At $25, this has to be the best value charcuterie board in the city.
The only thing we weren’t keen on was leaving, but as we walked out past the fun mural of bygone movie legends, we spotted the sign that sums up this rabbit hole experience:
“You must be mad or you wouldn’t have come here,” it read.
Well strap me into my straightjacket, cos I’ll be coming back here again!
Open: Mon – Thurs 4pm–10pm, Fri – Sat 4pm–12am.
120 Bourke Street
T: 0403 747 788
Have you discovered any hidden gems to drink in recently? What’s your recommendation for a local small bar? What do you think of this charcuterie board? Tell us in the comments!