Can I hear a “woof” if you love warehouse bars?
The Angry Dog, is in direct contradiction to its name, as their resident dog Roxy is nothing but smiles, a wagging tale, and a welcoming woof (but we will forgive her for this because she is in fact, the goodest girl).
The contrasting name, however, does make a bit more sense when Mathew Pistillo, Managing Director of The Angry Dog, explains its origin.
“Everyone does associate it with the dog, which we’re happy for people to do that, but if I’m being honest it’s actually what my dad calls Jimmy Barnes,” Mathew told us.
“So growing up, my dad with his heavy Italian accent used to curse at the TV, ‘cause he used to like Jimmy Barnes voice but he used to get so frustrated he’d go, “I don’t know why he screams like an angry dog”. So that’s where the name came from”.
This venue is a true Hidden City Secret (or Hidden ‘West Melbourne’ Secret I should say), you’ll have to keep your eye out for their signage, or you might just walk straight past.
In a delightful change from most Melbourne bars, The Angry Dog is incredibly spacious. You won’t be squishing past tables holding two drinks and hoping your bag doesn’t whack someone on the way through.
Over to the side you will find a shelf filled with all the classic board games. Whether you prefer ‘Battleships’ or ‘Guess Who’, you will be sure to soak in a bit of childhood nostalgia (it’s funny how much you can return to your 10-year-old self, especially after a drink or two).
Speaking of drinks, oh boy are you in for a treat. Personally, espresso martinis aren’t usually my cup of tea (or coffee) but the passionate bartender at Angry Dog convinced me into trying one and am I glad I did. It was the perfect blend of coffee and sweetness with not even the faintest resemblance to some of the watery coffee soup that had tainted my opinions of espresso martinis in the past.
If that’s still not convinced you to order a espresso martini there are plenty of other cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine and spirits on the menu.
A keen eye will spot a few famous quotes hidden around the venue, written on the corners of tables, or the backs of chairs, which makes the venue feel even more personably designed.
The Angry Dog team want to remind guests to “Bring your pooch!” Roxy can’t be the only dog strutting around the venue, she needs some friends to join in on the fun!
If you are not a dog person, do not fret! Roxy is not the only ‘angry’ animal at this venue. If you head up to the bar, you’ll not only be greeted by a wide selection of drinks, but also by Swim Shady (AKA The Angry Fish).
So if you’re near by on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday you’ll be lucky enough to snag one of their scrumptious toasties or a made-to-order pizza from their on-site food truck.
Keep an eye on their socials for the upcoming events at The Angry Dog because there is a lot to get excited about! From winter movie nights with popcorn and mulled wine, to a communal Mario Kart competition where patrons can verse each other on the big screen, The Angry Dog is set to become the community hub that we all needed.
If you’re a repeat customer here, you turn into family. The staff jokingly likened it to the bar in ‘Cheers‘, where everyone knows your name.
“We want to know our customers names, we want to know who they are and where they’re from, especially the ones who come in all the time,” says Lia Musso, Venue & Events Manager at The Angry Dog.
“Its important that we have that reporte with the customers ’cause they’re not just a number to us, they’re really not. We value them”
So pop in for a drink, a bite (of food that is), a pat (of the dog) and a game, and I dare you to try and not make this place your go-to. It is impossible.