Just open: Bleachers Sports Bar in Canberra's Melbourne Building

Jil Hogan
Bleachers sports bar managers Richard McPherson and Aaron Aherne-Williams.
Bleachers sports bar managers Richard McPherson and Aaron Aherne-Williams.  Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

We're staring down the barrel of a jam-packed couple of months of sport, from the FIFA World Cup, to State of Origin, the NBA finals, and the Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League. So there are more than a few excuses to check out Canberra's brand new sports bar, opening on Friday June 1.

Bleachers Sports Bar is in the Melbourne Building, underneath recently relocated speakeasy Molly, and fills a space that once housed the Commonwealth Bank. Entry to the bar is off Northbourne Avenue, and it's the first bar without a hidden entrance for owners Ant Arena, Lorenzo Focarile and Dean Brown, who count Molly, Black Market and The Highball Express amongst their creations.

There's an unmistakable American feel to the place, but they'll be showing sports from across the globe on their 24 screens. They have the ability to run 16 different channels at once, or switch all screens to the same game. For the particularly big matches, nine central screens form together to create a giant 4.5 metre screen. You can also listen to the commentary of the channel you want to watch from the tables via a phone app and Bluetooth.

The bar's only actual bleachers are in miniature form, purpose-built to hold their large spirits selection.
The bar's only actual bleachers are in miniature form, purpose-built to hold their large spirits selection. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The jerseys of Aussie athletes who play American sports hang over the entrance to bar, which is predominantly filled with large benches and a few leather booths.

A full kitchen will serve up everything you'd expect to get at an American sports bar - think ribs, burgers, wings, mac and cheese, hot dogs and steaks. It's open from lunch until late, and Arena said they'll also look into serving breakfast for any big games that are played in the morning Australian time.

Beer is fittingly the main drink on offer at the bar - there are 12 on tap, including an alcoholic ginger beer and cider, plus plenty more in tins and bottles. The bar's only actual bleachers are in miniature form, purpose-built to hold their large spirits selection.

Bleachers, 35 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra. Open seven days, lunch til late.