nineteenforty, Hawthorn East

Bars, Drink, Melbourne / 22 September 2016

A pre-movie tipple could become a full-length feature in its own right with the opening of nineteenforty in Hawthorn East.

Perched on the rooftop of the iconic Rivoli Cinemas, nineteenforty takes the cheeky-bev-before-the-movie to a whole new level, in more ways than one. And you could definitely swing by nineteenforty without movie plans too.
As the name suggests, the bar is inspired by the 1940s – the decade in which the Rivoli first opened its doors. The Rivoli Cinemas is a beautiful sight in its own right – the art deco building is heritage listed and always a great option for a movie date.
As we approach the Rivoli at dusk, the neon lights are just beginning to stand out against Melbourne’s evening sky. Up the sweeping staircase and out to the rooftop and we’re transported to a ’40s summer soiree. A summery signature cocktail and a cosy spot by the fire warms us up in no time – proof that nineteenforty needn’t rely on the sunshine of the summer months to make this a hot spot for a drink.
The live music trio conjures up an atmosphere true to nineteenforty’s namesake. The classic black and white flick ‘Casablanca’ projected against the Rivoli’s brick wall is the cherry on top.
Speaking of cherries, my second cocktail for the evening is a Scottish Ginger – a bitey blend of Dewars 12, Domain De Canton, lemon and a glacé cherry. In the interest of alcohol absorption and of course added enjoyment, snacks are a must here. Twist n Shout prawn twists go down a treat – coriander, green onion and garlic infused prawns wrapped in crispy pastry anyone? The chilli lime mayo finishes these zesty delights off perfectly.
The night grows darker, the lights strung across the outdoor space shine brighter and we gaze out across the view of Camberwell and Hawthorn East. The essence of the 1940s is nostalgic but certainly not gimmicky. Yellow and white striped pop-up awnings on the cart-style bar stay in theme but are fresh and fun too.
With a food menu featuring yummy munchies aplenty and a drinks menu delivering everything from moreish cocktails through to a neat selection of beer, cider, spirits and wine, a visit to nineteenforty is certainly worth your while. Whatever you do, don’t forget to try the gourmet popcorn. Oh, and keep an eye on your watch if you’re seeing a film – time can get away with you up here.
Rivoli Cinemas
200 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm – 10pm and Sundays from 2.30pm – 8pm.
Download the menu here.