Caretaker’s Cottage might be Melbourne CBD’s smallest (and most charming) pub

A tiny brick cottage belonging to Wesley Church in the CBD now houses a public bar, Caretakers Cottage, created by the Fancy Free team.

Rob Lebicans, Ryan Noreiks and Matt Stirling, all former Black Pearl employees, say the bar consisting of just two small rooms and a hallway is their version of a pub you might find in a small English town. Guinness is one of three beers on tap, dogs are welcome and leaning on the ledges is encouraged, and with a capacity of just 50 it will always be comfortable.

“What else looks like it? A pub does it,” says co-owner Matt Stirling.

A solid musical setup is another important goal for the team, all of whom have worked at Black Pearl in the past. Photo: Ryan Noreiks



The trio transformed the 1914 building into a cozy space that balances dark paisley wallpaper with dove gray French wash walls.

“The colors and textures we’ve come up with are such that the venue looks its best any time of the day,” says Stirling, adding that it’s designed for locals or anyone looking for a pub atmosphere in the middle. from the city.

Nestled amongst a forest of glass towers on Little Lonsdale Street, Caretakers Cottage is hidden in plain sight, with an off-street entrance into the church grounds. Beautiful wooden joinery, greenstone tables, artwork by Gloria Napangardi Gill, and hand-finished speakers by Tasmanian firm Pitt & Giblin are all present.

Melbourne Bitter longnecks, craft beers from local pals like Molly Rose and Hop Nation, and a frequently rotating draft beer join the ever-pouring Guinness and a range of seven, mostly classic, wines.

The house martini is another mainstay, joining three classic cocktails and three contemporary drinks. Clarified milk punches are an obsession, another homage to English pubs. Last week included Jameson whiskey, lemon Earl Gray tea and raspberry vermouth.

Don Bocarte anchovies, smoked trout dip, Welsh rare cheese and cheese from Melbourne chef and cheesemaker Lucy Whitlow provide drinkable fodder.

Open Wed-Sat 4pm-1am

139-141 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, caretakerscottage.bar

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