I dropped into the Universal Bar in Northbridge the other day; I was waiting for a mate who was, as usual, late, so to while away a few minutes I had a quick drink. The Universal is a later afternoon opener but was open at midday on Friday so giving me the chance to wander in.
The wine list is certainly no great shakes – not much effort put into constructing something of note – but strangely in the midst of very ordinary wines they also offer four Champagnes – and at pretty good prices, too. Likewise the beer list is nothing to write home about… middle of the road, mainstream stuff….it was obvious that, although this is a bar, it has other interests – and that appears to be music – it shines as a live music venue in a world where these places are becoming rather scarce. Thursday to Sunday sees it put on acts across a range of musical oeuvres.
I had a look over the menu – basic pub food was the theme – fish and chips, wings, pizza and the like – filling, but nothing to excite the palate. Just the thing to soak up the alcohol while listening to a band, perhaps.
Anyway, I tried a glass of their offered rosé, Cirillo, from apparently one of the oldest vineyards in Australia, in the Barossa. It was a quite dark hue, and overly sweet, more of a light, sweet red than rosé to my taste. But it was nicely chilled and by the time it was served my mate had turned up and after downing the glass we went on our way.
So I guess if you are looking for a small bar with a good range of wine and beer, the Universal is probably not for you; likewise if you are seeking out innovative and interesting food – but if it is music you are after, in quite pleasant surroundings, by all means give the Universal a try.