One of New York’s top bars comes to Melbourne

Photo: Dante bar director Naren Young (Steve Freihon)

Greenwich Village hotspot Dante is popping up in Melbourne for one week in May. Time to dust off your party shoes.

You can take the bar out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of the bar. At least that’s the plan when Dante, one of the world’s top-ranked cocktail bars, is transplanted from Greenwich Village to a laneway in Melbourne next month.

Rockpool’s Alfred Place space will become a quintessentially New York bar for a week as Dante’s Australian owners take it back to where it all began. Co-owner Linden Pride has known Neil Perry for 20 years and was a bar manager at Rockpool for a time. Now the two are reuniting to bring Dante and its award-winning drinks to Australia for a series of events at Alfred Place and Rosetta in Melbourne.

“Having won numerous accolades in the past years, we decided it was time to take what we had built in New York on the road,” Pride says. “Although we’ve done many pop ups in the last few years (Moscow, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, London), working back in Australia with one of my great mentors is something I’m especially excited about.”

A Manhattan fixture, Dante has occupied the same site in Greenwich Village since 1915, when it opened as Caffe Dante. The neighbourhood has changed (as has the Dante team), but regulars keep coming back for the Sazeracs, Martinis mixed tableside and cocktails on tap.

The crew will be bringing the bar’s signatures to town for an opening party at Alfred Place on Monday 13 May, followed by three nights of events including Negroni Sessions, Martini Hour and Summer of Spritz.

Roll up to Rosetta on Tuesday or Wednesday evening of the residency for a taste of the bar’s famed Negronis, a Martini Hour involving Dante’s twist on the classic and a wide-ranging look at the drink of the moment, the Spritz. On Thursday, the party tightens focus to Negronis and Spritzes. Each event runs from 5pm to 9pm and caters to the organised among us who like to book ahead, as well as walk-ins.

The opening party is a ticketed affair, but entry gets you all cocktails plus snacks from Rockpool and tunes by DJ Andrew Levins.

Can’t decide which night you like best? Go with the flow – you’re guaranteed a delicious drink in your hand no matter which night you brave Dante.

Dante at Rockpool, Mon 13 May-Thurs 16 May, Rockpool at Alfred Place, 7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne and Rosetta, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank. To purchase opening party tickets or book for any other night, call (03) 8648 1900 or visit rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au

By Emma Breheny