With the return of the sun in the past few days, a visit to rooftop bar Mechanics Institute with a drinking chum seemed in order – nothing like sitting in the open, catching a bit of breeze and soaking up some warming rays.
Entry is off Lock Lane behind the State Library and up a flight of stairs. Three levels – the lower of them allowing smoking, the other two smoke free – as well as an indoor area which also houses the bar. Tables and benches with umbrellas for shade; the Alex hotel which has been built alongside far from detracting from the atmosphere adds an element of seclusion from the bustle of Northbridge.
The bar is above Flipside in William Street, and serves the array of burgers from that establishment; you just order at the bar and after a short wait, up the stairs the order comes.
A couple of beers were in order – both displaying very colourful labels – and the contents not letting the exterior down.
First a brew from Moondog in Abbotsford, Mack Daddy Dark Ale – dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee aromas; smooth creamy palate, with flavours of liquorice, bitter hops, finishing with a smoky note.
The other, another Victorian, this one from Dandenong, Kaiju Beers Hopped Out Red – aromas of stone fruit, malt and creamed toffee. Palate is well balanced between malt and hops and has a mildly bitter finish.
Thus replenished we set off, but will no doubt soon return – Mechanics is one of the best bars in town with friendly, chatty and knowledgeable waiters and bar staff, a great and changing range of beers, tidy wine list and excellent cocktails. Always worth a visit, and especially on a warm, sunny day.