The sun’s out and Reunion Island Pool Club will be open before the end of the year. The summer-long rooftop pool party is by Jerome Borazio, the man behind St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Footscray bar Back Alley Sally’s and banks-of-the-Yarra drinking spot Ponyfish Island. There’ll be plunge pools and LA-style snacks (fried-onion burgers, club sandwiches) by Collingwood burger joint Easey’s.
In Preston, Arepa Days is a sunshine-filled Colombian eatery with a cheery yellow, white and aqua fit-out and turntables playing South American vinyl, while closer to the city in Clifton Hill, Matt Bax (one of the city’s most innovative bar owners) has launched Grau Projekt, a bookings-only amalgamation of gallery and bar in a 1000-square-metre warehouse.
Leonardo’s Pizza Palace is by the team behind casual fine diner Ramblr and party bar Leonard’s House of Love, and has warmly welcomed us into its Italian-American arms. Meanwhile, Italian grocery store, roopftop bar, deli and wine bar King and Godfree reopened over the weekend after extensive renovations. And in a beautiful old mill in the south, Half Acre is a multifaceted space that couples the drop-in spirit of a pub with the food of a more polished eatery. Vegetables star – try the grilled cabbage with chimichurri and scorched goat’s cheese.
After a series of pop-ups, playful clothing label Sister has opened its first shop in Fitzroy North. It’s a dreamy, romantic space decked out in stone, timber and giant terrazzo, with grand arches overhead and terracotta-painted floors. Head in for the label’s signature linen apron-dress.
The Japanese Film Festival is returning to ACMI, with a program spanning cult, anime, drama and documentary kicking off later this month, and controversial performance artist Mike Parr is currently showing Kindness Is So Gangster at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Flinders Lane. It’s a series of sculptural works – including 19 “heads” – created by Parr without use of his eyesight.
After this story was published, some of the included venues opened. On December 10 we updated the article to reflect this.