A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 4th 2016
The 10th best bar in the world is a neighbourhood favourite
We were recently in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, for a visit to Glamorama Bar, and realised we were also close to Black Pearl Bar located at 304 Brunswick Street. As Black Pearl recently achieved the impressive title of 'tenth best bar in the world' in the World's 50 Best Bars 2015, we decided we should pay a visit.
Black Pearl - named the 10th best bar in the world - is in downtown Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Despite the fancy award, Black Pearl on its Facebook page describes itself as 'a casual neighbourhood cocktail bar', and surprisingly, that's what it is. We expected it to be bursting with people, but it wasn't. There were a few people sitting at the tables outside and enjoying the mild temperatures and the Brunswick Street buzz, and just a few more sitting at the bar inside.
The decor is understated and the lighting subdued - letting the bar and the amazing liquor display behind it shine.
Subdued lighting and understated decor
The two staff behind the bar quickly made us feel welcome. Ignoring the extensive cocktail list, my partner Dave asked our bartender to 'make us something we haven't tried before'. After a bit of a discussion about preferences (Dave likes super dry martinis, I like slightly less dry martinis), he concocted the 'Tuxedo 2' - a new take on the martini. As well as the standard gin and Vermouth, the Tux 2 included dashes of cherry brandy and Absinthe. It worked really well and somehow suited both Dave's and my palates. Clever!
The way in which the bartenders effortlessly whipped up cocktails was a clear indication that these are professionals in their field. It's no surprise to learn that some of Black Pearl's bartenders have competed internationally and a number have taken out big cocktail competition titles. Others still have gone on to open their own bars that are now in the top 50 bars list. These are impressive credentials indeed.
The professionalism of the staff shines through - but they are also friendly!
As well as the downstairs bar area, Black Pearl boasts a 'fancy' upstairs area, The Attic, which is open from Thursday to Saturday, 7pm to 3am. We didn't get to view this area as there was a function in progress at the time.
Overall we enjoyed our Black Pearl experience and will definitely return next time we're in the area.
Black Pearl is open from 5pm to 3am seven days.
Make sure you pop in for a quick - or slow - cocktail next time you're in Brunswick Street and see why Black Pearl is rated the 10th best bar in the world.
Image attribution: All images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of WeekendNotes.