Susannah Whitehouse and Candy Smith had toyed around with the idea of owning a bar, but it wasn’t until an opportunity presented itself this year that the duo entertained the possibility. The owners of beloved Petrie Terrace cafe Scout happily jumped at the chance to put their signature stamp on a nearby space (once occupied by Hops Scotch & Beans), consciously instituting a concept that was markedly different from Caxton Street’s beer-centric offering. Susannah and Candy set to work transforming the venue’s previously dark and cosseted interior to one that welcomed in light and colour. Walls were knocked down, original floorboards were uncovered and sanded back, the original bar lowered and restructured, concrete was unearthed and polished, and a fresh coast of peach pink paint was applied to the ceiling. Suddenly, Jessie’s Girl came to life – a neighbourhood hangout that adds a touch of femininity and casual charm for those seeking a bit of fun.
Jessie’s Girl’s menu brings shared dining to the fore, with a selection of European-inspired bites to nibble on. Must-try morsels include the steak tartare, pork belly rillettes toasties, pipis with speck, Sicilian eggplant caponata with burrata and almond pesto, wagyu beef and pork meatballs, and charcuterie and cheese plates. Behind the bar, Susannah and Candy have curated a concise selection of drinks, with a small selection of craft beers and wines. Where the bar shines is in its cocktail selection, which boats four kinds of spritz (titled The Britz, The Ritz, The Titz and The Shizz), as well as espresso martinis, a carrotini and the Northside – a spin on the Southside featuring gin, grapefruit and mint. The coming months will see Jessie’s Girl add a boozy brunch offering to the mix, with some new bites, bottomless spritzes and Coffee Supreme filter brew for sipping.
Jessie’s Girl is now open on Petrie Terrace. Just look for the neon sign of a hand clutching a martini, or find all the details you’ll need in the Stumble Guide.