CPL Newsline's Reporter visited The Raccoon Club (145 Plenty Road, near the corner to Seymour Street) on Saturday evening and was immediately impressed - with the space, and particularly with the beer.
The Raccoon Club features a bar along the south wall, facing a row of tables, chairs and bench seats. There is outdoor seating at the front and a pool table at the back.
The beer selection is excellent; it includes a number of rotating beer taps as well as bottled beers from local microbreweries. The basic beer list (see below) gives some idea of the range, but there are many more beers available if you ask.
This Reporter sampled the Thunder Road Full Steam Pale Lager on tap (subtle honey notes, perfectly executed, how a malt-driven lager should taste) and the Kooinda Black IPA in bottle (deep caramel, burnt toffee flavours offset by a beautiful hop bouquet). The latter beer cost only $6 per bottle, which is surely the most reasonable bar price in Melbourne for a quality black IPA.
In a discussion with one of the owners, it was discovered that The Raccoon Club has links with Victoria's most creative microbrewery, Moon Dog, and hopefully its beers will feature from time to time - exciting news for those who would otherwise need to travel to the other side of The River to sample Moon Dog's genius.
There are apparently various dining options at The Raccoon Club, including antipasti made on-premises and order-in pizza and Indian delivered from local restaurants. However, great beer is really the central focus here.
Central Preston: why would you ever need to leave?