In our very early days, Bennie’s mum and I had a single, desultory upstairs meal at Palmerino’s.
A few times back then I stopped by for a beer or three but never managed to crack it with the regulars in what seemed like a rather odd amalgam of bottle store, bar and social club.
Then it became a franchised bottle shop.
Well, all that is no more – and the Bottle-O is no longer a bottle-o.
Instead, it is being rapidly transformed into a restaurant-bar, with the upstairs space to continue to be used for functions.
The man behind 540 On Barkly is Simon Matkowsky, formerly chef at the Mona Castle in Seddon.
He tells me his new baby will be up and running before the end of June.
To start with, dinner will be served Tuesdays through to Saturdays, and lunch Wednesdays through to Saturdays.
The draft menu Simon shows me covers all the bases in what could be informally described as “modern Australian”, including tapas, “hand-helds”, pasta and risotto, and grills.
I reckon Simon has snagged a good spot here.
Heading in one direction, there’s not a lot of food, particularly of this variety, all the way to Sunshine and beyond.
Heading in the other direction, 540 On Barkly is situated a nice kilometre or so from the Plough and the eateries of Seddon.