Oh look, another burger joint in Melbourne. *yawn*
Wait - what's that you say? On a rooftop? Oh okay, that's kinda cool...
In TRAIN CARRIAGES on a rooftop? Wha-- whaaaaaaa??!
Only in Collingwood would this kind of place exist and would people make a special effort to go there. Like I did, one Saturday afternoon, oh months ago now, but I'm guessing not too much has changed since my visit.
Inventively named for the street it's on, Easey's (48 Easey Street, Collingwood) is hard to miss on approach. Three train carriages jut out from atop a rooftop. Oh hai.
Trouble is, to get to them, you have to climb about a million stairs. Or maybe I'm just lazy. (Note: You can totally eat burgers on the ground level, too. But why would you go to this place and NOT go to the train carriages on the rooftop?!) (Another note: There is a lift. But either it wasn't working or I didn't/couldn't use it for some other reason on the day of my visit. Or maybe I was just working off the burger in advance by using the stairs. Who knows, it was so long ago.)
True to form, this place had so much buzz when it first opened in May 2015 that when I got there a few months later, I was expecting a shit-fight to get in. Or a burger-fight, as the case may be. But I shrewdly timed my visit for late afternoon, i.e. post-lunch rush/pre-dinner/drunkenness rush, and thank the LORD burgers were still available at this time.
I felt like chicken (not A chicken; just to clarify), and was recommended the addition of a potato cake to my chicken burger. Why not! It's already a burger - what's a few extra thousand calories.
Gotta say, it was a pretty good addition. I'm not a mad keen burger person - okay, I like them, who doesn't, but I don't eat them very often - so it was good having a different flavour and texture in there to mix it up a bit. Try something different. Live dangerously.
Drinks were a chilled affair (boo-doom TISH), served in thick glass tumblers branded to the hilt. I would've liked a bit more detail/variety in the wine list, but I guess wine drinkers are not the target customer here: it's all about BEER to go with the BURGERS. (Someone really should subvert the norm there. Surely, SURELY, wine can be matched with anything?! Plus, I'd be a lot happier.)
I liked the booth-y things, basically original double train seats facing each other with a table stuck in the middle. The table (and wainscotting, i.e. panelling halfway up the walls) is made of a '70s-style brown wood, reminiscent of my primary school days. Apparently the checkered fabric on the seats is a replica of the ORIGINAL train seat fabric from yonks ago, i.e. well before my existence in Melbourne. So I guess that attention to retro detail is pretty cool. Plus, just the commitment to get the carriages up there in the first place is impressive - I imagine that would've been pretty hard.
There were also colourful metal stools round about the place, quirky touches like a light fitting with a trash-and-treasure-revived feel about it, and iPads on the booth tables that video-recorded what you were doing and you could play back - something our neighbours found quite entertaining in their booth, but I thought was a little odd/creepy/cool. It's all kind of chilled, no-frills, classic take-away, meets we-know-we're-cool-so-we-don't-have-to-try-hard, meets OK-here's-a-bit-of-something-different-cos-we-liked-it.
There's an outdoor bit in between carriages on the rooftop, with regular tables and heaters, should you wish to feel some air in your hair whilst gazing out over the industrial suburbanism of the inner North.
If you're a burger fiend, Easey's is definitely worth a visit, (a) for the novelty, (b) cos the burgers ain't bad. If you're just after drinks in a funky environment, don't be a wine drinker.
Probably a stayer in the Collingwood scene - at least while burgers are still hot.