Johnny’s Green Room celebrated their first birthday in style, which incidentally also coincided with the start of the summer season. The Melbourne weather even cooperated, giving us a perfect evening for a rooftop celebration. The venue quickly became one of my favourites when they opened last year, with its 360 degree views and impossible to beat Carlton location. The rooftop bar is directly across from Cinema Nova, steps from Pidapipo, and perched on top of King and Godfree. If the name sounds familiar, the original Johnny’s Greenroom was an infamous late night Carlton pool hall. While the scrubbed up rooftop incarnation of Johnny’s Green Room is new, the King and Godfree complex is a heritage listed building, boasting a 135 year tradition of Italian food and culture.
The party was an excellent reminder that it’s high time to emerge from my basement bar hibernation and bring my booze out into the light of day. Freshly shucked oysters and Aperol Spritz greeted us on arrival. The menu is full of unfussy favourites – including arancini, Neapolitan thin-crust pizza, and salumi. The tap options are also suited to relaxed summer drinking and include a mix of craft and macro beers. There’s Peroni and Two Suns (Asahi), a cold-pressed apple cider from Colonial, Old Mate pale ale from Moon Dog, and Miss Pinky – a refreshingly tart beer brewed with raspberries. The wine list is equally easy-going with a number of Italian options available. I suggest reclining on the deck furniture with a cold drink during the day, and then cosying up to one of the brick encased fire places when the sun goes down.
For one of Melbourne’s most affordable date nights, try hitting up Johnny’s for Apertivo Hour. During the golden hours of 5-7pm, $8 will buy you Aperol spritz, tap wine, or peroni. Next, cross the street to Cinema Nova for $10 movie tickets on Monday. End on a sweet note with a scoop (or three) of Pidapipo’s famed gelato. Alternately, if you’re looking to splash out some cash and take full advantage of the view, Johnny’s is throwing a champagne and fireworks party on NYE.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
Johnny’s Green Room
Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053