Food and Drink

   

Bimbos vs. Naked

Posted by Nola James

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About 10 years ago the building that currently houses pizza house/ nightclub Bimbo Deluxe used to be an old rockers pub, and only a few years ago the pintxos bar a little further down Brunswick Street, Naked for Satan (NFS), was a pool house. Pool as in pool-and-cue, not swimming.

I never went into either of these buildings in their previous incarnations. The former, because I was too young and really not very hip; and the latter due to complete disinterest – I have no hand eye coordination.

From about 2006-2008 I worked behind the bar at Bimbo Deluxe pulling pints and mixing bourbon and coke, dancing until 4am and polishing glassware as the sun came up. I worked long hours for little money, shagged a few backpackers (not all at once), developed a love affair with Agavero and ate hundreds of pizzas. You should try telling your mum you work in a bar called Bimbo Deluxe. I think she still harbours suspicions I was a stripper.

Bimbo Deluxe and NFS technically have no affiliation, although they are tied by the fact that the current owner/creators of NFS also birthed Bimbo, opening the then innovative venue on Brunswick Street at a time when the street was a lot less gentrified to a mixture of praise and protest.

Due to their genetic connection there are obvious similarities between the two venues. The same guy did the interior design and the same guy writes the signs. Both offer a kooky selection of beers on tap, play cool tunes and run very low cost bread-based food specials to get punters in the door.

The clientele is similar – uni students after a cheap feed, hen’s nights, girls in long floral skirts and boys in checked shirts – although the NFS clientele seem to run a little more chic. I’m basing that on the assumption that there’s NOT sweaty dancing on tables at NFS (unlike on Thursday nights at Bimbos) so don’t quote me on that.

At Bimbos you get: $4 pizzas 12noon-4pm weekdays, 7pm-10pm Monday-Thursday. Even at full price you’re still not paying more than $9 or so for a pizza. They’re still pretty excellent, although perhaps not the glory they once were. There is a gluten free option too. After 10pm the DJs will turn up the tunes so hit the dance floor or go home.

At Naked for Satan you get: 80c pinxtos 12noon-4pm weekdays and 7pm-10pm Monday-Wednesday. They’re normally $2 each. It’s an honestly system – keep the little toothpicks in each pintxos and pay when you’re done. Cold pintxos sit in a cabinet awaiting selection, hot pinxtos are handed around at intervals, but it’s a lot of baguette when the best part is the treat spiked on top. It’s not really dinner but at 80c a pop it can be if you want.

NFS has a better wine list. Bimbos has a better smoking area, with a roof top beer garden that gets the late afternoon sun in summer (although NFS are starting construction of their own rooftop bar space – word is an opening is only a few months away but right now it’s still just a roof.) NFS has better toilets (honestly, they ladies’ bathroom is larger than my apartment) but Bimbos has that cool igloo thing and a pool table, and Space Invaders when the machines are working.

Horses for courses (sorry, Spring Racing Carnival pun) I guess, but how do you choose? Toss a coin I reckon. Or go to Veggie Bar like you used to.

Naked For Satan
285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
9416 2238
www.nakedforsatan.com.au

Bimbo Deluxe
376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
9419 8600
www.bimbodeluxe.com.au


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