My friends and I are always looking for a fun new place to have dinner on a Saturday night. On this occasion, we made our way to the new Hotel Lombardo in Coburg, just past Moreland Road, the northern Brunswick frontier. Upon approaching it, we almost walked past it, its discrete, quiet, even mysterious outside became part of our experience.
Entering the dimly lit venue, we were surprised by what we saw. A long bar, cozy booths and people playing pool under a huge disco ball was definitely out of the typical Italian restaurant design in Melbourne.
Pool table and a huge disco ball – Photo: Author
At half past seven on a Saturday night, all booths were already taken so we headed out the back into the Aussie-looking beer garden. While the outside was aesthetically pleasing with plenty of greenery and fairy lights, it lacked the inside warm, jazzy, and cozy atmosphere. Keep in mind they only do bookings for 8+ groups so I would strongly recommend you get there a little earlier if your party is small.
Seeking a cocktail to light up the night, we approached the bar. One of the four bartenders was a bit hesitant about what would be our best option, so we made an executive decision going with his top two suggestions, a “Last Word” and a “Margarita”.
The menu was modest while somehow also plentiful. You will find a handful of appetiser options and six different pizzas to choose from (four of which are vegetarian or vegan). We decided to order one margarita pizza, one potato pizza, a bowl of chips and the roquette salad which I particularly enjoyed as it balanced the flavours with its scrumptious dressing.
After our very satisfying meal, we decided to head inside for another drink and to soak up the ambience in one of the booths, which was now free. At Hotel Lombardo, inside is definitely the place to be.
The venue’s clever design really gives the ambience a great and unique feel. The assortment of glass and beaded lampshades are beautiful, the framed images dotted around the walls with faces of Italian people make it warm and really added to the familiar atmosphere of the place. The booths, bar and pool table give you the vibe of an American-style diner while the venue still manages to ooze a northern suburb rebel feel.
American-style diner vibe while still oozing a northern suburb rebel feel. Photo: Author
We had a really enjoyable night at Hotel Lombardo and it was very obvious the locals were already loving it as if they were long-time regulars. A fun, new and exciting place with amazing food and cocktails was exactly what we wanted on our Saturday night.
Consider Hotel Lombardo next time you’re looking for a great place for a date night, a catch-up with your mates, or when you feel like having a game of pool under a giant disco ball.
Overall, I give Hotel Lombardo 4.1 (out of 5) stars*.
*At Brunswick Daily, we strongly believe that reviews are biased by the author’s subjectivity. Our reviews intend to be a friendly guide and most importantly, an invitation for you to challenge our score and create your own by visiting the venue .