Words by Teyha Nicholls Images Supplied
The name Ellington conjures certain boozy images to mind. For this writer, it’s a picture of Duke Ellington, the legendary New York jazz musician and composer from the swinging 1920’s hashing it out on his piano, a glass of red wine shaking with the melody on the lid. For the wine-lovers of Ballarat, another, similar image might come to mind: a cosy evening at the freshly minted Ellingtons Wine Bar, sipping on a local shiraz.
That’s the hope of owner and operator Myles Williams, whose year long journey to opening a European-style neighbourhood wine bar in Ballarat has finally come to bear fruit. The heavy wooden doors swung open last month and as Myles explains, the locals are loving it.
“We took over the building in July last year. The build took eight months with a few Covid-related speed bumps but we finally opened last month and the feedback from the community has been great. I just think Ballarat is so supportive of new ventures.”
It’s not hard to see why. Stepping inside Ellington’s is like walking through an Edward Hopper painting. It oozes warmth and sophistication. The curved wood of the Bentwood chairs invite you to sit and stay a while, and the natural light seeping in from the warehouse-style windows bathes the bar in a warm glow that’s impossible to resist. If you like Mad Men, you’ll like it here.
For Myles, the emphasis on comfort, community and the antiqued feel of how hospitality once was is paramount. His team provide table service and offer a selection of local and international wines that pair perfectly with the small, shared plates. Guests can either sit in the bar or head outside to their newly designed rooftop space for uninterrupted views of Sturt Street and beyond.
The menu is seasonal, flexible and sourced locally. Oysters, charcuterie boards, cheese platters and anchovies, as well as other bite-sized bar snacks and French chocolates make the perfect accompaniments to a post-work drink, meeting or weekend catch up with friends.
The idea was to do something different, something unique. We’re Ballarat’s first rooftop that’s joined with a function space and since we’ve opened the doors everyone has beelined straight to the rooftop.
Come rain, hail or shine, Ellington’s will be pouring tall glasses of booze and warm foamy coffees during the daytime. As for the jazz records, they’ll be on repeat of course.
WHAT: Ellingtons Wine Bar & Rooftop
WHERE: 405A Sturt Street, Ballarat
WHEN: Open Wednesday – Monday , 2pm – late
Kitchen open from 4pm
MORE INFO: Ellingtons Wine Bar & Rooftop
We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.