By Jo Rittey
Richmond has an inventive new destination for craft beer, cocktails and food offerings on Burnley Street. The name, Concrete Boots references the mysterious and enigmatic Yarra River and local history involving grisly tales of unlucky gangsters and crims ending up in the river, sporting ‘concrete boots’. In fact, the venue has the bullet holes to prove it and the front door is peppered with old battle scars from trigger happy crim, Squizzy Taylor.
Setting up shop in an old jazz club, owner and Richmond local, Andrew Reed wanted to bring something a bit different to this part of Richmond. “Our plan is for locals to be able to enjoy seriously good food and drinks in their own neck of the woods.” Reed has over a decade of experience in hospitality, acquired whilst studying environmental engineering. In addition to wanting everyone who comes through his door to have the best possible time, designing a sustainable hospitality venture was an absolute must in Reed’s book.
Campaigning for all things local, ‘Concrete Boots’ champions products indigenous to the garden state. Victorian wines populate the menu and there is a rotating list of seasonal brews to cater for all beer persuasions. There is an impressive list of tap beers and this month features IPAs, Porters, Pale Ales, Brown Ales and Stouts to name but a few from local breweries across the suburbs and further afield for the more audacious beer drinker. If cocktails are your Friday night thing, then rest assured, the Australian Negroni is a frontrunner, showcasing four pillars gin, maidenii vermouth and red okar amarao. Or perhaps a Love Lychee will satisfy your penchant for hard liquor, made with a house infused basil gin, lychee and rosewater.
The food menu is a little left of centre but in a delicious sort of way. While burgers are a focal point, you can also get your chops around some spam chips (yes, they really are made from spam) avocado tartare and jalapeno poppers, just a few of the snacks on offer at Concrete Boots. But to get back to the burgers, you can choose between the iconic ‘Squizzy’, beef, cheese, bacon, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, pickles, complete with aioli and BBQ sauce, a vegetarian option suing jackfruit and a more curious burger that features kangaroo.
There’s a lot to take in and as great as all that sounds, it’s even better in the flesh. So get on down to Burnley Street, look out for the skeleton hand holding a beer and get amongst it.
381 Burnley Street, Richmond
Thursday – Saturday, 5.30pm – 1.00am, Sunday Midday – 11.00pm