From the outside, The Osborne Rooftop and Bar could have passed as any ol’ south-side hotel. Plonked on the corner of Osborne St and Commercial Rd, with a history dating back to the early 1900’s, the humble white brickwork gave no hint of the charm concealed beyond.
But, the second the front door swings open, I’m abundantly aware of my error in judgement. What I expected to be a humble bar was in fact a welcoming blend of local pub charm and simple sophistication.
Home to 6 unique spaces, you’ll be spoilt for choice with where to direct your attention. From the downstairs sports bar, dining room and courtyard, up to the second floor cocktail lounge, private dining room and rooftop. The Osborne’s unique charm allows each of its diverse areas to flow seamlessly into the next. One moment you’ll be grabbing a beer in their sports lounge and the next you could be soaking up the sun’s rays on the rooftop with an Aperol spritz in hand.
Slip into a booth or take a seat in The Osborne’s relaxed dining setting where white marble tables and fair timber accents provide the perfect backdrop for a menu chock-full of revamped classics. With a highly qualified chef, you’ll get the quality of food expected in a fine dining establishment, minus the pretentious ingredient list and price tag. Think good old Australian cuisine with a refreshingly modern twist. Choose from pizza, mains, salads (you can’t leave without trying the roasted pumpkin), or if you can’t decide then twist your mate’s arm into grabbing a few sharing plates.
If you’re after a meal that’ll treat your bank account just as well as your appetite, then it’s well worth popping down for the Osborne’s $10 lunch special. Running from 12-3 on Tuesday – Thursday, it’s the perfect lunch break treat for the team. Or if you’re more of a Mexican fanatic, then do yourself a solid and drop by on Thursdays for their ridiculous $5 taco selection. The Osborne do a meaaann southern fried chicken taco that’ll have you going back for thirds – and why wouldn’t you at $5 a pop?
Tucked towards the back of the ground floor is a cosy courtyard that’s bursting with character. Complete with a fireplace, hanging gardens, and pops of vibrant cushioned seats, it’s practically screaming for an afternoon spent soaking up the sun over drinks or huddling around the fire for a winter catch-up.
As you ascend the stairs, the polished tiles and white washed walls give way to exposed brickwork, warm timber hues, and rich sapphire blues. The laid back bar scene is replaced by a sophisticated cocktail lounge that oozes luxury and warmth. To one side of the long room lies lavish sapphire velvet lounges and ottomans, and plush deep blue carpet. To the other, dark timber floors leads away towards a blue tiled bar with tan leather stools tucked beneath it.
Across from the cocktail lounge sits a secluded private dining room, decked out with similar deep blue accents and exposed brickwork. If you’re after a more intimate dining experience than the downstairs setting, the room can be booked for lunches and dinners with two or three-course modern Australian set menus available for up to 18 guests.
But by far the most impressive part of The Osborne is their exquisite rooftop. As you walk out onto the deck you’ll be greeted with an open space of abundant group seating, sun drenched decking and a view of the South Yarra skyline. A vertical garden lines the entire back wall with an array of outdoor sofas perched before them, practically begging to be the backdrop of your next Instagram story.
Not even a notoriously brutal Melbourne winter can kill the rooftop vibe. With a retractable roof, transparent temporary walls, and an abundance of heaters, you’ll be able to keep those rooftop Saturday sessions rolling all year round, completely oblivious to winter’s wrath.
With everything you could possibly need from a venue in the one place, The Osborne ticks all the boxes, even the ones you didn’t know needed ticking. And with Happy Hour running from 4-7pm Tuesday-Friday, you’ll know where to find me double parked on $10 espresso martinis for after work drinks this Friday.
By Hannah Matchett