The west's newest cocktail spot, Lay Low, is hidden behind an unmarked door inside a clothing store – you need to press the doorbell to be let in. But it was never intended as a speakeasy.
Friends Colin Wood and Miles Williamsz approached Oscar Eastman (ex Eau de Vie, Loretta's in Fitzroy North) to set up Lay Low Bar in Seddon because they had long lamented the lack of a really good cocktail institution or specialty whisky bar on their side of town.
They've turned what was a vacant workshop into a warm and welcoming space, thanks to a long, terracotta-tiled bar, concrete and stone flooring and soft lighting. One wall has been given up to a cocktail-inspired mural by local artist Hannah Simpkin.
The goal is minimal waste, and many of the cocktails on Eastman's menu are made with repurposed ingredients. Common Galaxia donates its leftover avocado pits for the Gentry Fix cocktail, made with cognac and spices; there's local honey in the Beerlini and the Nightcap #93; and waste milk from nearby cafes goes into his twist on a Milk Punch. All up, there are 12 signature cocktails, plus the full cohort of classics. There's also a short, sharp list of mostly Australian wines, and beers on tap and in cans.
While Eastman will maintain creative control over the direction of Lay Low Bar, the day-to-day running will fall to barman Sacha Leonard (ex Kisume, Double Happiness).
There's no kitchen, but souvlaki sliders, dips and pita, loaded potatoes and more can be ordered in from neighbouring Greek restaurant The Brotherhood Yiros and Grill. On Sundays, when the restaurant is closed, patrons can bring in other food or order Uber Eats.
Open Wed 5-10pm, Thu 4-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm, Sun 2pm-late.
93 Buckley Street, Seddon, laylowbar.com.au