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& Nic

The man behind the bar

Gus McAllister always had a passion for hospitality. It all started as bar work to support his degree, but it soon became obvious that hospo (rather than science) was his real calling.

With a dream to open his own bar, Gus started to learn everything about the industry.. Nights spent doing "tasting research", an adventure through Europe, and more than 15 years working across venues gave him all the tools and knowledge he needed.

Get in touch

It takes two

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In the early days of bar dreaming, Gus met Nicole Murnane. Nicole, like Gus, had moved to the city to study a Bachelor of Science (and Arts) at Melbourne University. Unlike Gus – her now-husband – she decided that science actually was her calling.

That is, until she joined him in that campervan tour of Europe, and over 10 months came to share the dream of opening a Melbourne bar and restaurant.

Somewhere between the beautiful wine regions of Europe, sampling all the local cuisine, and conversations dominated by boutique this and local that, The Tippler & Co. concept was born.

Finding our home

finding our home bird
After almost 6 months of searching, in mid-2013 Gus and Nicole got the keys to 58-60 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne – the former site of Cafe Balzac.

It was a little tired-looking, but the couple could see its potential. A stone’s throw from Yarra Park and well-connected, it could be the perfect venue for a midweek tipple, a meeting spot for friends, or a must-stop on the way to the MCG.

They got to work (with help from friends, family and endless tradespeople) bringing the worn-down space to life. Creating an inviting place, where everyone can relax with their favourite drink, treat themselves to something new, and receive exceptional service, again and again.


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The refurbs now a distant memory, Gus and Nic couldn’t be happier to see their vision become a reality. Over 10 years on, the Tippler & Co. is a local institution. With splashes of greenery, natural wood textures and a sunlit courtyard, the beloved East Melbourne venue offers a menu that proudly supports local makers.

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Smiles all around - Gus & long time employee Nick James
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Nic trying out some of the local street food, Istanbul 2010
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A young Gus pouring the ‘local’ at the Carpenters Arms, London 2010
Celebrating two years of The Tippler & Co, 2015
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