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In recent years, we got some truly epic wine bars added to the Geelong scene. From Geelong Cellar Door and Union Street Wine in the CBD to Archive Wine Bar in Belmont and Union Cellars on Minerva Road, we’re truly spoiled for choice.
If you’ve even vaguely had your ear to the ground in Geelong, you’d know that there’s been a fair bit of movement happening on Pakington Street, including a beautiful new wine bar and restaurant where you can sit, cradle a Pinot, and act like you have your life together all while enjoying the finest fare to match.
Courtesy of Richard and Donna Flanders, who also run Beav’s Bar and sister restaurant The Arborist, Meet Me At Marys has become an anticipated opening across the region, with Richard and Donna reinventing their beloved Zigfrids restaurant into something entirely new.
The venue, a once prime dinner date destination, called it quits earlier this year after having been forced to close its doors on three separate occasions over the past 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions placed on hospitality venues.
Embracing the opportunity to deliver another impeccably designed venue, Meet Me At Mary’s takes form as part dining room, part lounge, part wine bar, where the owners lean into their deep-seated love of modern Australian fare with worldly twists and drinks to match.
While Zigfrids was somewhat of a hidden gem since opening in February 2014 in an old panel beater building, Meet Me At Marys retains the venues old-world charm and awe-inspiring exposed ceiling beams, introducing a delightful, lived-in aesthetic, warm service and undeniable buzz that’s sure to put you at ease from the get-go.
Attention to detail has once again been paramount from a design perspective, with features such as the stunning curved deep blue titled bar, exposed brick interior, custom-made light fittings, bright booth seating, polished floors and a whimsical mural adorning the entrance.
Elegant yet low-key, Meet Me At Marys is a cosy, low-lit space with lots of little nooks, so you can have your own little corner, hidden from other groups, but feel still part of the mix.
Food-wise, the head chef has designed a concise menu of wine-friendly small plates and larger meals for those looking for more.
Snacks and starters include smoked almonds, marinated olives, sourdough bread and butter, baked halloumi and even school prawns with Korean chilli salt. Heartier options include the likes of grilled zucchini salad, fried polenta, grilled swordfish with roasted almond sauce, broccolini and parsley oil as well as roasted chicken breast and slow-cooked lamb neck, complete with quinoa tabbouleh and Tahini yoghurt and shallots.
For dessert, there’s a coconut and cashew cake with Yuzu caramel, a white chocolate parfait with rhubarb, berries, meringue and pepita praline, or our personal favourite, the baked cheese with peppered figs, walnuts and toasted fruit bread.
Featuring one of the city’s best wine and beer lists, paired with extraordinarily attentive service, here you’ll find a quirky list of mostly Aussie wines with a few unexpected drops from other corners of the world. The spirit selection is extensive, featuring something for every type of drinker while the beer list is vibrant and made up of mostly Victorian brews, with the exception of Stone & Wood and Great Northern on tap.
Much like The Arborist, the venue shines with its unique and classic collection of cocktails. You’ll find the likes of the espresso martini, Negroni and whiskey sour alongside the more adventurous creations like the Alice In Rumdaland, Salted Peanut Butter Old Fashioned and a Bloody Mary’s, made with jalapeno, guajillo chilli and horseradish infused vodka, hop-smoked hot sauce, tobacco, Worcestershire, tomato and lemon plus a pickle.
While the pull of the rustic wine bar and top-notch food from two experienced hospo names is too great on its own, the venue delivers on the vibe with the addition of live music every Sunday from 3pm to 6pm.
Visit this neighbourhood wine bar for the well-executed food; stay for extraordinarily attentive service and a warm, classic feel.
Meet Me At Marys is located at 66 Pakington Street, Geelong West. The venue is open Wednesday to Saturday from 3pm, dinner from 5pm, and lunch from 12pm on Saturdays and Sundays. You can book here.
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