Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne West, Melbourne

Acqua E Vino

18a Anderson St, Yarraville, VIC
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With imported wines and beers and a fancy Italian name to boot, Acqua e Vino is a cosy, moderately sized, and very European-looking wine bar and restaurant in the heart of Yarraville. You can order your drink as soon as you turn the corner from the top of the entrance staircase to the bar, and have gourmet meals the likes of those in wine bars in the city or St Kilda. Acqua e Vino is a pretty relaxed place where you can catch up with your friends with imported wines you are yet to taste.

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Acqua E Vino Review

Review By Matt Wilson

Acqua e Vino is Italian for “Water and Wine”. Imagine if the owners had used the English version of this for this bar’s name instead; who would go to a place with such a bland name? This goes to show that everything sounds fancier in Italian. It also shows that by using a foreign phrase that this posh yet mostly unpretentious wine bar and restaurant is trying to give itself an international image to make it stand out, and considering it is in the west side of Melbourne, you will be hard pressed to find another bar like this on this side of town.

As you walk up the stairs to get inside, you will see through some glass the back of the various drink bottles standing behind the bar, showing you and everyone else who has just arrived that there are many different drinks on offer here. Once you get up the stairs, you will see a cosy, moderately sized, and very European-looking bar filled with black couches, tables, a black chandelier with candles on it, a fireplace, red flowers, wine bottles above some padded seating areas, and a small stage for the band. The entrance to the back bar for private functions is also just next to the top of the stairs, so you will not need to even walk through the bar to get to the party you are going to. You can order your drink once you turn the corner from the top of the stairs to the bar, granting you immediate access to the several fancy “vinos” here, as well as the few “commoner” drinks available like Wild Turkey, Barcardi, and Carona. Be warned though: the bartender who served me was a rude and obnoxious tool, reflecting that Acqua e Vino is mainly frequented by the yuppies of the west, hence the bartender’s self-righteous attitude. For all I know, he may be the bad apple among Acqua e Vino’s staff, but it would not surprise me if the other bartenders also believe their own hype for when they get to tell people they work at a posh wine bar the likes of those in the city or St Kilda.

Also note that the meals here are of the stiff upper-class variety, the ones numerous movies have made fun of by portraying them as outrageously expensive meals that are mostly empty plates with only a small amount of gourmet lettuce on it.

Once you have brought your drink, you can enjoy the venue for its mostly relaxed feel by listening to the band’s indie rock music (I could hear a bit of it from the street and they sounded okay, though I was not able to listen to them properly inside as they were not playing at the time) or the chill out music played on the stereo for when the band are not around. The crowd were mostly between their mid-20s and 30s, all wearing nice casual clothing, ranging from tight black dresses for the sophisticated-looking ladies reminiscent of the Sex & the City gals, to the jeans and black vests the “hipster” guys wore. There is also the nice view of Ballarat Street to look at if you get bored or conversation with your friends falters. Despite the elitist attitude of the aforementioned bartender, Acqua e Vino is a pretty relaxed place where you can catch up with your friends with importe wines you are yet to taste.

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a 2nd acqua e vino review

review by liz elliot

if you are ready to take a trip through time, i recommend that you find your way to the heart of yarraville village. on anderson st, you will see a sign; you walk up a dimly lit stairway and turn a corner into a large room. You are welcomed into Aqua E Vino by some dapper looking gents; they hand you a bar list boasting Vintage liquor from around the world and direct you to one of their Vintage inspired Lounges. You can’t help but believe they have taken your breath away.

As you sit, you take a minute to catch your breath. Make sure you remember your era – you are not in a scene out of Moulin Rouge. You are, however, in one of the hottest themed lounges in the West. You will find yourself wondering where this nightlife had gone, and suddenly have an urge to dress up dapper (1890-1930) to impress the elegant ladies of the Vino.

A very rare jewel that has fit in oh so perfectly, you will leave inspired. Don’t be fooled by the Vintage appearance as Aqua E Vino has very much stayed current, boosting a very frequent youth following from the locals and an extremely busy Friday and Saturday night.

This is not a bar or club that you would find in the CBD, but a fantastic location that is recommended to be enjoyed with company or a lazy weekend afternoon when you’re looking to wet your whistle. Acqua E Vino boasts not only impressive liquor but also bar snacks and cases of Cigars in shelves if you dare to try a more rouge side.

However, be warned: Acqua E Vino in all its whimsy can burn a hole in your pocket and you come to realise that escaping to a liquor filled Wonderland with the Green Fairy is costly… but worth it. Save you coins and make sure you look your very best. In the end you will have one of the most exciting nights of your life.

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