Johnny’s Green Room has reopened on the top of the King & Godfree building located on the corner of Lygon and Faraday Streets in Carlton.
The rooftop bar has a fresh new look, inspired by Tuscan terrace vibes, and a fresh food and drink line-up developed by Karen Martini and Matt Bax of Bar Americano. For owners Jamie Valmorbida and Luca Sbardella, the renovation marks a new chapter in the story of Johnny’s Green Room. “After five years Johnny’s needed a refresh. But the catalyst was a permit to install a retractable roof so we can keep people comfortable all year round,” Jamie said.
As for the drinks, cocktail aficionado Matt (Bar Americano, Tippling Club, Der Raum, Bar Economico, Gamsei Munich) has reimagined some of the venue’s most-loved drinks and added some twists on classic Italian cocktails.
“We wanted to celebrate the sprezzatura of Italian terrazza drinking and entertaining with a list that’s fresh, spritzy and smashable,” Matt said.
“The list will be seasonal and something of a flavour map, where you can taste the different regions of Italy.”
Highlights include an Amalfi-inspired Limoncello Margarita using in-house limoncello, a Hugo Spritz with hand-picked spearmint from the King & Godfree kitchen garden, and a Pidapipo Sgroppino using fresh lemon gelato made by the cult gelateria downstairs. There are also a number of non-alcoholic options on offer such as Zero Hugo Spritz and the Camomilla Sgroppino.
The wine list has been created by sommelier George McCullough, and has a big focus on savoury, textural whites, alongside fragrant skin-macerated whites from central Italy, with drops from the likes of Cantina Giardino. Medium-bodied and chilled red options from local and emerging winemakers include wines from Oscar Hermann and GUM. Several local and imported beers are also available on-tap Bodriggy, Moon Dog, Peroni, Garage Project and more.
Acclaimed chef and author Karen is leading the kitchen as Culinary Director, with a focus on pizza and a refreshed take on Mediterranean flavours with a relaxed menu of Italian-style share plates.
“Of course, there’ll still be pizza and cicchetti as a nod to Carlton, and perfect for convivial alfresco dining,” said Karen.
Johnny’s Green Room will continue its collaboration with online radio station Hope St Radio to curate the music program featuring some of Melbourne’s most sought-after DJs and musical acts playing at the venue including Wax’o Paradiso, In2Stellar and Danny Hotep.
“We’re excited about Johnny’s 2.0,” Jamie added, “think Tuscan terrace without the daggy music.”
See the gallery below for images of Johnny’s Green Room (image credit: Arianna Leggiero)