Two hospitality veterans switch from café to wine bar at Pep’s, where mid-century style meets straight-up snacks and a deep cellar made for easy drinking.
It’s something of a scene at Pep’s, the western suburbs’ newest small bar and stage for owners Charlie and Tarsh Galbally (The Daily Espresso Bar; The Other Side) to share their love of wine. Be warned: even with 100 or so seats, at prime time there can be queues. Step inside and there’s energy and style aplenty, with couples and groups gathered around custom-made furniture (much of it mid-century in style or inspiration) complemented by marble, raw brick, blonde wood and a handsome bar dressed with vintage encaustic tiles.
The crowd is a smart, diverse mix, just like the wine list. A study in contemporary wine styles, it straddles both the more traditional and natural worlds, but with an emphasis on drinkability and enjoyment, the likes of Cullen and Vasse Felix meeting La Violetta and Blind Corner, say. While the by-the-glass list is nicely focused, the curious make their way to “the wall” to pick from the bar’s 220-odd bottles, picking up advice from well-informed staff as they go.
A study in contemporary wine styles, the wine list straddles both the more traditional and natural worlds, but with an emphasis on drinkability and enjoyment.
The food offering, although a little limited, is a celebration of things that go well with a glass. Think plates of cheese, salumi and olives supplied by Sal’s Family Deli. For now it’s less meal and more ballast for exploring the cellar, but with a new list of stuffed pinza (try the ’nduja and mozzarella) and the roster of wines set to expand even wider, the future for Pep’s looks as bright as it looks delicious.