When: Monday 7am-4pm, Tues-Sat 7am-11pm
Where: 20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne
No skim milk, no soy, no cocoa
Melbourne takes coffee extremely seriously and who better to lead the fight against wussy, crappy coffee than the very serious people at Bar Americano? Hidden in one of Melbourne’s many gritty lanes, the little place does a mean-as coffee. The kind you’ll never have to ask for “strong” because the experience is something like being kicked in the face with a very flavoursome, sexy boot. If in-your-face-coffee is not your thing you can get your kicks from a nice range of hard liquor and retro tough-man drinks with bitter things in them; not for pansies. I dare you to order a Midori Illusion.
While the coffee sure is neat and the drinks are the real-deal, the presence of Bar Americano is almost hostile. Despite being gorgeously fitted out in dark wooden panels and chequered tiles there is nowhere to sit, which leaves one awkwardly leaning on the bar, trying to look comfortable. A sign on the wall reads “No photos. No Credit Cards. No bookings. No shoes, No service.” I can’t help but think, “get over yourself”. There’s something so off-putting about somewhere that behaves as if it’s doing you a really big favour by serving you at all. It very well may suit guests better to simply order through the hole-in-the-wall laneway window rather than be subjected to the long list of “NO’s” inside. On the upside, it really is convenient for them to do late night coffee; in fact that’s probably the only convenience.