Elvis has been found: he’s in this building in the back blocks of Collingwood. The Gem is one of those local pubs that make you want to move house so you’re around the corner from it – timber floors, country and rockabilly bands in the front bar, Elvis memorabilia on the walls and a collection of cowboy boots and Mexican Day of the Dead ephemera.
There’s a dining room out the back, but on the weekend the front bar is just the ticket for a spot of lunch. While there’s some pretty typical pub grub listed on the menu (wagyu burger with beetroot relish; beef and Guinness pie with mash), the tapas-style dishes offer something a little different if you’re up for sharing. Chorizo, lemon and olive stuffed squid tubes, polenta and parmesan balls with roasted cherry tomatoes, and saganaki with zaatar all disappear within minutes of appearing.
At the bar, the standard beers appear on tap as well as Monteith’s Golden Ale and White Rabbit Dark Ale, and a decent selection of well-priced wines by the glass.
289 Wellington Street, Collingwood
(03) 9419 5170