At The Bar with Purple Pit Bar Owner Joe Jones

Joe Jones is the co-owner of Purple Pit a basement bar on Collins Street that exists beneath an old Gothic church; sounds just like our kind of hangout.

Romeo describes it as equal parts brutalist with a lush romantic post-punk soundtrack he can’t get enough of right now.

You’ll recognise some of the cocktails on the list at Purple Pit, that’s because Jones, who used to own and run Romeo Lane, has brought a Eurocentric curation to what he does behind the bar here too.

Photo by Parker Blain

“The drinks are fairly similar to that of Romeo Lane,” says Joe Jones.

“They’re based in classic theory, might be complicated or really simple, but ultimately, we try and make them fast and fun,” he says.

Melbourne might be a smaller springboard to push off compared to other places in the world, but it’s full of some of the most interesting and creative people I’ve ever met. Melbourne is home to the people I love, and the audience I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my work with for the last decade. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s a pretty wonderful place.


Sitting in the dining room at Icebergs on a stormy night and hearing the waves crash in with my beautiful girlfriend while we ate the most sensational set of dishes is a recent memory. Everything was so vibrant and fresh and sort of spiritually invigorating. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Clam Bar with my friend Mikey Nicolian and it was unbelievable. Dan is such a good chef and it was perfectly articulated by the staff and the mood.


One or Two is a fabulous bar. Their intentions are clear and the drinks are excellent. Andy is a wonderful host who you should let show you a good time. Cameron Parish is another dear friend and great bartender who you can find somewhere between Gimlet and Apollo Inn. Between those guys and their efforts, I’m not left wanting much in the way of bars locally.



Cantina OK! always spring to mind because they’re just unapologetically themselves. That kind of confidence has a trickle-down effect that the customers can sense and really build some trust on. Additionally, you’re hard pressed to have a bad time or a bad drink there. Japan feels right. It’s fast to get to and fun. Food and whiskey, like come on.


We make a Dark N Stormy with a pretty grand Bermudan & Agricol Rum blend and a ginger and chamomile beer that we all can’t stop drinking. It’s spicy and dry and the worst bit about it is that it doesn’t come in jug format, and the Peach Negroni of course.

Photo by Parker Blain


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