Evie’s Disco Diner, Fitzroy Melbourne
Evie’s Disco Diner is an NYC-inspired restaurant and bar located at 230/232 Gertrude St, Fitzroy in Melbourne. The venue hosts weekly social events, including the occasional Broadway Brunch.
Evie’s Disco Diner’s most recent Broadway Brunch was hosted at the Gertrude St venue on Sunday the 4th of February, 2024. The next Broadway Brunch event is scheduled for Sunday the 31st of March. You can purchase tickets to the event online.
It was hot on the Sunday I first went to Evie’s Diner—almost 40 degrees. Early February and instead of in my room with an air conditioner and all the games I love, I was spending a sweltering Sunday afternoon in a small diner with iffy air conditioning and hard seats.
I loved every second.
I first heard of Evie’s when my fiance, a woman with mobility issues who hates the heat and going out as much as I do piped up: “We have to go to this!” She told me all about this Broadway brunch. Food, drinks, and live performances of songs from musicals. She booked the tickets for her, myself, and our families. That was back in January.
Now, at midnight February 5th, after I’ve sufficiently relaxed and gotten some time with my computer, I’m sitting here and typing to you in the hopes that at the very least, you’ll give Evie’s a decent Googling.
Let Your Hair Hang Down
The very first thing that I was struck by with Evie’s was the lengths they went to to accommodate me and my family. We are all in varying states of disabled. It’s very difficult for us to get together in big gatherings like this. My fiance enquired about accessibility when making the initial booking, and was told that our family would be no issue. My sister-in-law however arrived before us, forewarning us that the seating didn’t look too accessible. With bolted-in booths and high stools, the seating didn’t look accessible at all.
But Evie’s damn well made it accessible.
Upon being reminded of our family’s needs, the staff most graciously brought in an extra table and two long benches with good hip support and height from the floor meaning that no one’s legs were cramping up from having to support themselves.
From the outset the message was clear, we were welcome here and for people who are disabled, that’s a difficult thing to find. Even with today’s inclusivity-conscious culture, there is so much that just, isn’t accessible. Disabled ramps that are too steep to be properly used, booths with tables and chairs too close together so plus-sized people can’t use them, and restaurants dominated by kitschy, aesthetic tables and chairs that stop anyone under five feet from sitting comfortably. Yet here, this tiny little establishment that you could quite easily walk past if you’re not looking for it, this place made a space. I could be getting sentimental. It could have all been a matter of “they paid, do what they want.” But I think a huge part of the point is that no one was made to feel that way. And if it was just a money issue, surely they would have just sat us outside? We could still hear the music and see the performance through the windows. No, we were brought inside. We were made to feel like part of that place, that experience.
That touch of kindness and warmth is present everywhere at Evie’s Disco Diner.
See A Rock’n’Rollin Band
I’ve been to a few events like this. Sometimes they go well. I find however that at best I am usually cringe smiling through it, not knowing half the songs. At worst, I’m bored or annoyed. Evie’s Disco Diner Broadway Brunch, however, was outstanding.
With genuinely talented singers and performers who all knew how to work a crowd, I found myself singing along, laughing, loving how performances were broken up with small, simple games that required the right amount of investment to be a break from the show, but not so much investment that the momentum was cut.
It was a genuine delight to not have to sit through two hours of obscure musicals that I’d never heard of before under the pretence of them being “classics.” The Broadway Brunch featured all the greats, Annie Get Your Gun, Les Miserables, Hairspray, Wicked, and even movie musicals and animations like The Little Mermaid. This is far from a comprehensive list, and over two hours the performers regaled us with song after song, beautiful on-stage chemistry, genuinely entertaining shenanigans, infectious talent, and unerring kindness.
Just Gotta Pick and Choose
So a Broadway Brunch, there’s got to be food, right? Well yes, there was food. How was it? Well, you can’t see me right now but if you could, I’d be doing that thing where a person spreads their fingers and rocks their hand like a seesaw.
I had the chicken and waffles. The taste was okay and the food was fresh, but the waffles weren’t crispy and the chicken, though beautifully juicy, was weirdly tough to cut through. It was also all drenched in maple syrup and icing sugar which, although nice, together with the sweetness of the waffles kind of overpowered the chicken.
My family members sampled the hot cakes with bacon and maple, and the french toast, also with bacon and maple. They all said that the food was fantastic so maybe it was just me. However, I can’t write about what I didn’t eat. So I’d suggest that if you go to Evie’s (which I am 100% recommending you absolutely do) then I implore you to have more faith in the food than this review might express. I intend to be going back at some point to give the food another shot.
Give Me Such A Feeling
What was it specifically about Evie’s that made a 31-year-old quasi-hermit enjoy an evening away from his air-conditioned den of comfort so much? I’ve already touched on the constant feeling of belonging present at Evie’s and while that accounts for about 50% of my enjoyment with an additional 40% going to the act and food, I’ve got to say that the final 10% was made up by the atmosphere.
Evie’s resembles a warehouse owned by a drag starlet. Rich in tasteful pinks contrasted with saturated sky blues on brickwork and cyclone fencing on the mezzanine level barrier. Distressed windows letting in just enough light that the party lights whizzing around can do their job but not so much that the space is light polluted. Posters for Broadway shows spread along the brick walls, the mortar between them tinted pink creating a genuinely gorgeous wall; warm-fired bricks against muted pink.
The space is the perfect combination of casual and deliberate. The form of the surroundings would appear devil-may-care and industrial if not for the carefully orchestrated brightness and saturation of the environment’s colour, lighting, and decor. Plants can be found throughout Evie’s, softening the urban interior and brightening the exterior.
All in all, Evie’s feels relaxing, warm, inviting, and comfortable.
Even the toilets were inviting. Though they could have done with being a little cleaner, the graffiti on the walls amounted to messages of solidarity, truth, and encouragement for those in the LGBTQI+ community. Evie’s belongs to the LGBTQI+ and those who support them. If you’re not 100% accepting of others, don’t come here. They are loud and proud.
And while you’re off somewhere being bitter and alone, the rest of us will be at Evie’s, having a great time singing Broadway, playing free arcade games, and eating deliciously.
Evie’s Disco Diner Broadway Brunch Menu
Caesar Salad (GF)
Brekkie Wrap (VG OPT)
Chicken and Waffles (VGN OPT)
French Toast with Maple & Bacon (VGN OPT)
Hot Cakes with Butter & Maple (VG)
Bacon & Egg Muffin (VG OPT)
Reuben Bagel (VGN OPT)
Bottomless Drinks Package can be purchased at the venue for $40pp.
*The venue caters to food allergies and Veggies/Vegans.
Evie’s Disco Diner A La Carte Menu
When the venue is not hosting a Broadway Brunch, it also offers a standard A la Carte menu:
Snacks & Sides
House Pickles (VGN) (GF) $6
Curly Fries/Tots with Pink Aoili (VGN) (GF) $8 add Cheese $2
Corn Chips with Guac & Salsa (VGN) (GF) $10
Potato Skins with Sour Cream + Chives (VGN OPT) $10
Beer Battered Onion Rings with Ranch Sauce (VGN) $10
Mac n Cheese with Cheeto Crumb (VG) $10
Jalapeno Peppers with Ranch Sauce (VGN) $10
Poutine (VG) (GF) $14
Mac n Cheese Loaded Fries/Tots (VG) $16
Nuggets with House Dipping Sauce (VGN OPT) $12
Hot Wings, Tossed with Nashville Chipotle Spice Blend (VGN OPT) $16
Chicken & Waffles with Maple Sauce, Whipped Butter (VGN OPT) $22
Buckets o’ Fried Chicken, Served with Bread, Pickles and Ranch – 1kg Bucket $30 // 2kg Bucket $45
Burgers and Dogs
Served with Choice of Fries or Tots
Times Square Dog $16
Diced Onion, Ketchup, Mustard (VGN OPT)
Bronx Dog $18
Cheese, Jalapeno Relish, Tomato Salsa, Onion Rings (VGN OPT)
Smash Patty, Burger Sauce, Onion, Pickles, Lettuce, American Cheese (VGN OPT)
Fried Chicken Burger $22
Fried Chicken Fillet, Evie’s Hot Sauce, Pickles, Lettuce, American Cheese (VGN OPT)
Fillet ‘o’ Fish $22
Fish Fillet, House Dill Tartare, Pickles, Lettuce, American Cheese (VGN OPT)
Philly Cheesesteak $24
Sliced Flank Steak, Onion, Green Capsicum, Provolone Cheese
Reuben Sandwich $24
Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, Reuben Dressing & Pringles
Fried Apple Pie, Vanilla Ice Cream (VGN OPT) $10
New York Cheesecake with Berry Compote (VG) $12