The front bar at Bar Liberty, Fitzroy.
The front bar at Bar Liberty, Fitzroy. Photo: Supplied

Roslyn Grundy

When three guys who've done time at Attica buddy up with a chef who's cooked at Cutler & Co, good times, good drinks and good food are guaranteed to follow.

Banjo Harris Plane, Manu Potoi and Michael Bascetta, all ex Attica, and North Carolina-born chef Casey Wall (who, with Potoi, owns Collingwood's Rockwell & Sons) have pooled their skills to create Bar Liberty, in what was until recently a Fitzroy taqueria.

They've pared back the place to chalky walls and timber, drawn up a brief, vivid menu that's pure hospitality-industry catnip, and rounded it all off with Harris Plane's offbeat drinks list, worth reading for its quirky observations and explanatory notes alone. In short: a casual two-roomed place with really good booze, snacks and service. 

Casey Wall, Michael Bascetta, Manu Potoi and Banjo Harris Plane outside Bar Liberty.
Casey Wall, Michael Bascetta, Manu Potoi and Banjo Harris Plane outside Bar Liberty. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Wall promises the 12 to 15 menu items will be super-tasty and regularly changing – expect things like XO pipis with fried gluten sticks, and soft GLT sandwiches, with gribenes (chicken skin crackling) standing in for bacon.

The food is designed to hit it off with such free-thinking drinks as Briny Bay cocktail primped with vodka, olive brine and bay oil, non-alcoholic stonefruit kefir or a biodynamic wine.

Phase two is a rear courtyard and upstairs private dining rooms. 

Open Wed-Sat 5pm-late; Sun noon-9pm.

234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy barliberty.com