Last night a beautiful yet slightly grungy and kitsch but ultimately awesome Melbourne bar ended its life as The Lambs Go Bar.
I am sad to say that yesterday was actually my first visit (and last) to Lambs Go Bar, which was tucked away in an inconspicuous bluestone building, just off Smith St, Collingwood. I knew of the bar and its reputation as a decent destination for good beer and casual good times. However, I had just never made the trip there.
But now, after 10 years in operation and with the current Lease expiring, the owner has decided to hand the property to their son, who will most likely convert the bar into some sort of "classy wine bar restaurant" (so I heard over a pint in the beer garden). Hmmm. So, with one final opportunity to experience Lambs Go Bar, I headed there yesterday afternoon and discovered that I should have visited the place so much sooner, because...I loved it.
Without being any more than it needed to be, with plenty of wear-and-tear, this bar was just a great little (almost "secret") destination for enjoying good beer and good people.
Full of character and colour, without being bright, the bar was small but not squishy. With a front bar, pool room, rear dining room and tiny but excellent beer garden, The Lambs Go Bar was homely. There was plenty of sitting space with couches, benches and various chairs, as well as enough table space. On this occasion it did seem to be awfully chilly inside (was the air conditioning turned up to 11?), but outside in the enclosed beer garden, it was perfect.
The bar had 4 beer taps, with one hand pump tap pouring a rotating ale from 3Ravens - on this occasion it was the English Ale (which we enjoyed pints and then a jug of). Last night the other taps were the St Arnou Pilsner, Mountain Goat Steam Ale and Carlton Draught. Behind the bar was a fridge full of other 100 bottled beers from all over, lead by local craft beers, which were easily navigated via a clearly formatted and understandable beer menu book.
We couldn't stay too long...after a long draining day of Christmas shopping and empty pocket with the usual pre-Christmas cash shortage. Therefore, with one final farewell via a bottle of Bridge Road Brewers Bling IPA, we were out the door just as the real crowd started to flow in for a the "Slaughter of the Lambs" festivities.
All is not lost though, as most of what was Lambs Go Bar will be transferred to the newly renovated Rainbow Hotel, close by in Fitzroy. The brothers behind The Lambs Go Bar - Jason and Adam King - have taken a 15-year lease on the Rainbow and plan to reopen it soon with a focus on beer, food and live music (...my kind of combination!!). Check out the full story on The Crafty Pint website.
Therefore, I will not make the same mistake again of forsaking for so long a local watering hole when I hear such good things about it from many.
And for now...it is goodbye The Lambs Go Bar...