What do you get when you combine New York-style pizza, classic cocktails, a good wine list, a near-endless stream of live music and a commitment to nurturing young artists? The answer is Small Time, a multi-faceted Brunswick venue that almost willfully defies categorisation.
Case in point: in addition to being all of the above, Small Time is a "music accelerator". Each month, 10 up-and-coming musicians bump into its purpose-built recording studios to produce an original track of music and receive mentorship from seasoned industry experts.
Co-founder Stephen Hibberd borrowed the accelerator concept from the tech sector he has worked in for more than 20 years. "Accelerators offer short bursts of advice to people starting out in the technology and financing worlds," he says. "We wanted to bring that to music."
The idea for pizza by the slice came during his frequent business trips to the US. Small Time's menu favours the classics (think cheese and pepperoni), with a vegan option.
Beers come via Abbotsford's Bodriggy Brewing Co., while the wine list is Victorian. Cocktails range from negronis and Manhattans to the "Jaun Collins" – a tequila-based twist on the gin classic.
Hibberd, who is also a drummer, says the hospitality part of the business ties it all together: musicians need to eat, after all, and diners (some of them, at least) want to listen to music.
Small Time is open Thu-Sun noon-1am, Sun-Wed noon-11pm at 271-273 Albert Street, Brunswick, smalltimegroup.com.