Kew locals Ben and Emma Bangay have taken a wedge-shaped building in their neighbourhood and turned it into "a garden-enveloped bolthole for wine lovers and novices" named after New York City's triangular Flatiron Building.
Ben has combined his family background in wineries and horticulture with a career in television and film production to come up with both the design and concept for Flatiron Side Door wine bar and event space.
He's spent the past two years restoring the building, previously home to a butcher, grocery store and computer repair shop. He has hand-carved the bar, welded the doors and windows, designed and planted the courtyard garden and made the marble tables.
But the neighbourhood has also had a say in Flatiron's direction.
"We wanted the locals to let us know what they wanted, and we would shape ourselves around that," says Emma, a former journalist. "It has been a fantastic way to really cater for what is needed in this area."
They began with snacks such as charcuterie, cheese and olives to complement the concise drinks list, which includes wines from home and away, plus a handful of cocktails. But when it became clear that families wanted to linger, they introduced a short list of crisp-based pizzas with toppings like blue cheese and black pudding or prosciutto and rocket, which, like, the cocktails, will change seasonally.
Open Thu-Sun 3pm-late.
72 Willsmere Road, Kew, 0410 341 300, flatironmelbourne.com.au