Penny Blue and Money Order Office
-Out On a School Night-
Regular readers of this site (both of you) may be curious to know, what the most popular post has been during My City Melbourne’s short existence.
Was it learning how to meet Melbourne Cup winners at Living Legends Paddock or the Immigration Museum where we can all trace our history? Maybe it was the ‘what’s on’ guides with the host of cultural events for people to attend.
Nope, as it turns out, beer has trumped everything. De Ja Vu Bar and Lounge with its rotating taps of craft brews has been clicked on more than anything else on the site. With that in mind and a strong desire to ‘give the people what they want’, I headed to Penny Blue, to discover another bar claiming to be ‘Melbourne’s premier craft beer bar’
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only bar in Melbourne to be named after a postage stamp (see right) and it certainly fits the staunch criteria of CBD trendiness , being located down an alley way and off a little street (Driver Lane off Little Bourke).
While the service can be a little hit and miss, they do come through with the goods when it comes to the beer. They have 100+ mostly local beers to choose from, which would certainly put them in the mix to be classed as Melbourne’s number one, providing you don’t put too much weighting on tap beer (only one tap running).
Friday nights feature a house jazz band which certainly adds to the ambience of the place, however it also adds to the patronage and for that reason you may be better off on a Wednesday or Thursday where there is a more relaxed feel about it.
Next door is it’s sister venue, the Money Order Office or MOO as it is known by regulars.
The MOO has an amazing sense of history having been an office of enemy debts, the public trustee, custodian of expropriated property & the parliamentary offices of two former prime ministers.
Inside it has the appearance of a vintage wine seller and the ambience of a fine dining experience. However the prices are extremely reasonable and it is a contender for having the best pork chop in town (not to be confused with the biggest pork chop in town).
For a great mid-week dinner party, get a few people together and make it Penny Blue for a few pre dinner beers and then MOO for some tapas and wine ( and perhaps back to Penny Blue for a night cap).
If you are looking to entertain visitors from interstate or overseas this is not a bad choice as it certainly ticks many of the boxes required for a trademark Melbourne experience. Hidden venues, laneways, craft beer, tapas style eating, great wine, architecture and local history. What more could you want?