Palookaville was a cult ’90s comic book, whose hero, Joe Palooka, was an endearing slacker. This eponymous restaurant and bar has adopted the name as a sign of ;simple principles and a place of simple people’. If ;simple’ is a synonym for ;everyman’ then Palookaville has it in spades.
There’s a pool table for pubgoers, tables for those who want to eat out, and couches for hipsters to lounge in style. The space itself is a converted factory with a high-ceilinged central area filled with tables and noisy chatter. At the back is an iconic Aussie corrugated iron awning, while Chinese lanterns hang from the ceiling and Italian terracotta lines the floors. Even the decor has an identity crisis.
The food is standard pub grub and country-hops from Thai spare ribs to Persian lamb shanks and Italian macaroni and cheese. Prices are modest so you can line your stomach nicely before heading out for the night. Although it’s billed as a restaurant, Palookaville is more accurately a bar with cheap food so families with young children should dine elsewhere.
416 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9416 3942