Fancy Free, the bar from a team of award-winning ex-Black Pearl bartenders, has finally opened after delays connecting the gas. They are now slinging cocktails in the one-time 8 Bit site on Little Collins Street alongside burgers, fried chicken and mash and gravy from their first food collaborator, Mary's from Newtown in Sydney.
Could the best thing about it be that one third of its cocktails are booze-free and another third are low booze? With conscious drinking on the rise, the offer of proper party drinks sans spirits like a peachy tea Arnold Palmer and an invigorating iced coffee float (starring Messina pandan gelato) is a smart move.
But so is serving syrupy martinis with an olive oil infusion, bracing wines from progressive makers like Ochota, Ruggabellus and Gentle Folk and sour and straight beers from Stomping Ground brewery.
Inflatable unicorns and a printed mural from artist Aaron McKenzie feature against forest green walls in the high-low decor, but no single-use straws. Sustainable good times is the pitch overall.
Open March 1-2 4pm-11pm; Mon-Sat 11am-11pm.
381 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, fancyfreebar.com.au.