A new natural wine bar hidden inside Collingwood Yards

Published on 12 May 2021

Photo: Hope St Radio (credit: Tom Blachford)

It’s Fernet and Coke ice-cream, pappardelle with rabbit and nettle ragu and grilled runner beans with mojama at Johnston Street’s new wine bar, Hope St Radio. 

The former Collingwood Technical School space has recently reopened as Collingwood Yards, a huge multilevel, not-for-profit arts precinct. It’s now home to Melbourne’s much-loved online radio station Hope St Radio, and its new wine bar, restaurant and custom-built broadcasting space. 

Founder Pete Baxter and Cooked With Jack’s Jack Shaw have joined forces to open the light-filled ground-floor space, incorporating works by the pair’s friends and family into the fit-out. “Expect to feel like you’re in our home. Great wine, simple beautiful food, and warm service,’’ says Shaw. “Our plumber, Kev, said this place feels like a big hug, we love that.”

In the kitchen is Ellie Bouhadana of Ellie's Table, the pop-up trattoria and dinner delivery service that was born during lockdown. The menu will be full of wine bar snacks, plates designed for sharing and fresh pasta. Expect snacky plates such as focaccia crostini with caramelised garlic and double anchovy and Wandin Yallock tomatoes and burrata alongside a more substantial menu of cavatelli, red onion and butter beans and kingfish with mandarin and basil. If you’re stopping by after dinner, go for the Basque cheesecake and Fernet and cola ice-cream. 

The wine list focuses on all things natural, where interesting European lo-fi producers sit side-by-side with Australian natural winemakers. Drink Manon Peaches and Memento Mori alongside Cantina Giardino rosato, against the backdrop of bright yellow countertops and leather booths designed by architect Peter Cole. 

The bar is the first eatery in the precinct, with plenty of outdoor communal tables spilling onto the central courtyard for long lunches and late-night wines. The walls are plastered with hand-drawn flowers by Alice Mackintosh, co-owner of womenswear label Sister Studios. Hot Wax Sound Systems have decked the entire space out with top-notch speakers; if the doors are open, someone will be broadcasting a live radio show.

The team plans to open for breakfast from June, serving congee and filter coffee. In the meantime, stop by for a plate of Marcona almonds and a glass of sherbert-y Red Hill chardonnay. 

Hope St Radio is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm to 11pm; 35 Johnston St, Collingwood, hopestradio.community, @hopestradio

By Claire Adey 

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