By Sacha Delfosse

Friends Dion Waterman and Dan Michael Jones, who share a background in print, publishing, music and hospitality, teamed up last year with the aim of create a much needed small bar in their local community.

The result was 99 Problems Bar, which is located in Collingwood and opened in April.

It took the pair eight months to create the new bar from scratch, turning a derelict former squat into a low-lit and relaxed venue that accommodates up to 50 people.

“The area needed it. There's a great pub, a great live music venue and a great restaurant in the immediate vicinity, but there was no bar. The only really hassles in the process came from the ever-clanking wheels of bureaucracy. Nothing was going to stop us, though,” Waterman told TheShout.

“The crowd has so far ranged from locals stoked to have a new hangout in their neighbourhood, creative types keen to become part of the community, passers-by piqued by the inviting interior and cool-hunters who have seen the place written up in Broadsheet and ThreeThousand.”

Beers range from old favourites to the unexpected, with Tiger and Monteiths Apple Cider on tap, a top-class wine list and a carefully selected list of house cocktails and cocktail jugs.

The interior is comfortable with flashes of cutting edge design, featuring eye catching signage and wall pieces designed by Rohan Newman of Robot Academy, and denim-covered benches by jeans designer Max Olijnyk's clothing label Note To Self.

“Our goal was to make the patrons feel ‘at home’, without resorting to the kitsch and clutter that dominates plenty of venues across Melbourne's inner-north,” Waterman explains.

“The entire process from idea to opening was assisted by a close-knit team of capable and creative individuals, and a strong social media presence gives patrons off-site access to everything from drink specials to mix tapes put together by the crew that serve the drinks.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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