Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 5th 2011
Don't judge a book by its cover – Bimbo, at the corner of Brunswick St and Rose St, has nothing to do with scantily-clad women. Instead, the name might have something to do with 'bambino', as above the front entrance is a giant creepy-looking child. You won't find many children inside either, however: just drinks and a spectacular variety of pizzas.
Don't look up.
Bimbo seems to have joined Biero Bar's quest to make Melbourne affordable, offering large pizzas for four dollars each at lunchtime on weekdays and dinnertime on weekends. Along with the standard options are more exotic ones, such as the kangaroo meat pizza. Vegetarians will want to try the eggplant or roasted pumpkin options, but by far the best value for money is the Poncho: a Mexican-style dish that combines pizza with nachos, topped with a handful of jalapenos and a dollop of sour cream. It's not every day you can buy a hearty dinner for less than the price of the pot you're drinking with it.
The atmosphere of Bimbo is classy-yet-functional, with a pool table that seems perpetually in use and a downstairs area that gets dimmer and more comfortable as you move towards the stairwell. Upstairs it gets even cooler, with smaller rooms and even an outdoors area. The music isn't loud enough to get in the way of conversation and the bar staff are friendly.
The drink options are reliable and uninteresting, with the exception of a selection of flavoured vodkas prominently displayed above the bar. If you've got the money to blow on that kind of thing, go right ahead – but Bimbo isn't really that sort of place. Much of the seating area is so far from the bar itself that it's hard to believe people go here to get drunk. It's a bar you have dinner in, or chat with a beer in one hand. Without the absurdly cheap pizzas it'd merely be a good bar; with them it's an excellent one.