Billboard club and lounge bar and others: Forget Melbourne if from overseas
Currently living overseas (but Australian) I have realised on coming back to melb on a short trip how primitive the local bar and club scene here is. Unless u are under 25 yrs old and local u basically do not get in. And btw I am Caucasian Australian, professional job and totally sober when lining up to get into bars. They don't want anyone if not in the young local kids scene. I have no idea how melbourne tries to promote itself to the world as an international city. I will personally be telling all my friends in Asia, Caucasian and other, to never come to Melb for a fun holiday or to expect a 'real' city if here on a business trip. To promote itself as a city of great bars and clubs to see while here is a joke. I just hope all the bouncers from Melb get refused entry to all bars in Asia for absolutely no reason. Embarrassed to be Australian!
- Business Travel
Flying Saucer Club: Music in an Art Deco Hunting Lodge...
The Flying Saucer Club is run by the same crowd who gave us the Caravan Music Club in the wilds of Oakleigh.
Located in the Art Deco former front dining room of the Caulfield RSL, complete with candlelit tables and a fireplace topped by a deer's head, it is a pretty intimate music venue, catering for up to crowds of 300 or so. It is not crowded, sweaty or smoky so one can enjoy getting up close and personal with the performers.
The eclectic program includes contemporary music, cabaret, spoken word, burlesque, comedy and musical theatre.
Prices are very reasonable, ranging from $20-$30 standing, or $30-$50 for reserved seats at tables (where you can enjoy the bistro style pub food at moderate prices before the show). Drinks are sold at the bar (also at fair prices)
Whilst a Music venue and the RSL may seem like strange bedfellows, signage leads one past the poker machines and old diggers at the bar to the venue, and all seems to work smoothly.
Dress Code: Thankfully there is no evidence of a dress code, sparing patrons the attentions of bouncers and wankers
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
P.J. O' Briens: Cricket & Drinks
P.J. Obrien's is a chain of pubs in Australia. I had to come here bcause one of my friend's family owns the chain so I had to check it out. We came here on a hot day and just wanted to get into some airconditioning.
The pub is a nice size and looks like a typical Irish Pub. Dark wood accents, plenty of bar tables and seats at the bar. Liz and I chose to have a seat at the bar and enjoy some of the live crisket on the TV. I enjoyed an ice cold beer while my wife had a coke. It was a nice time here, relaxing, having drinks, watching cricket...definitely a good place to hang out.
They also serve traditional pub grub if your in the mood for some food. We passed on the food as we had already had a huge lunch of mussels about an hour before.
Ferdydurke and Section 8: Melbourne's Hidden venues
Ferdydurke and Section 8 are two best examples of Melbourne's alleyway bar culture. Both next door to eachother, they offer unparalleled vibe and atmosphere in terms of cool and urban.
3 levels tall, Ferdydurke sports a new-york loft type style. Music is interesting and crowd is friendly and easy-going. Definitely worth checking out! I found this hidden gem using the Night Genie iPhone app, which is great for finding other cool venues.
Dress Code: No dresscode
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Student Bars Guide: Student in Melbourne?
If your a student in Melbourne you should check this site out! Its been posted around RMIT university and I think that it's super useful!
It has every student drink deal from all the best places for students to hang out.
Just present your student card and you'll get cheap drinks.
Highly highly recommend
The Butterfly Club: Three JJJacks
Jack Lad and The Butterfly Club proudly presents
‘It’s the hand we’re dealt’
Three JJJacks is a darkly twisted, risque and irreverently funny foray into the Cabaret/Burlesque world where convention flies out the window, morals are shredded to confetti and passions are heated to hellish extremes. (Jack Lad) Paul Moder hosts and performs as three insane lads each called Jack. They are...
Reverend Jack - a conflicted fire and brimstone preacher with dubious faith and an eye for fallen women.
Doctor Jack - a disbarred practitioner with a questionable assortment of pills and medicines and a cure for broken hearts and wasted souls.
Springheel Jack - English gentleman of ye olde London Streets, with a razor wit and a blade to match.
Accompanying the Jacks are three beautiful and decadent temptress (all played by Madame ‘Mama’ Natalia) who entice with lilting voice, bared flesh and quicksilver tongue.
But each is destined for an unknown outcome with the three JJJacks. One will be saved, one will be healed...one will be murdered.
Featuring songs by Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, David Bowie and Puscifer, Three JJJacks is a show like no other that will leave you titillated, terrified, laughing and liberated.
Two shows only. Friday 16th and Saturday 17th, December. 10.30PM late show. Tickets $20-25.00 at www.thebutterflyclub.com or phone 9690 2000.
Warning: Show may contain nudity, violence, sex scenes, language and scenes that may offend.
Dress Code: Relaxed but not street bum
- Theater Travel
- Arts and Culture
New Guernica: Japanese Slippers down the Indian Alleyway
My visit to this club was an unexpected joy! We walked past a sign for an Indian Restaurant and noticed fake grass and bouncers, so we decided to go in. Up the stairs, we found the cutest little club! Quaint little gazebo rooms and park benches decorated with trees and flowers - just gorgeous - thought I'd fallen down Alice's rabbit hole!
Reminds me of the Hula Bula bar in Perth, but better (roomier, better tasting and better priced drinks). Great music provided by monthly programmed guest musicians.
After work weekday drinks $5 per drink from 5pm - 8pm. After work Fridays 2-4-1 drinks from 5pm. $25 cocktail jugs! Must try the Japanese Slipper.
Open weekdays from 5pm, Saturdays from 9pm and Sundays from 8pm.
Transport Bar: Dancing and Drinking
Transport is a regular nightspot right opposite Flinders Street Station and at the beginning of Federation Square. To be honest, it's quite an average spot, and I can take you to much better.
It's simply a really popular place because of it's popular tunes and it's popular location. This place is a nice place for a dance after getting some drinks somewhere else. Please note that late at night the line to get in might get fairly long.
Dress Code: Pants and shirt - no sneakers. Dress Fancy on a Saturday night.
Section 8: Drinking in a Shipping Container
Sequestered in a laneway off Chinatown, Section 8 definitely manages to fill a niche: never in all my years have I had a drink on a shipping container. The outdoor venue is perfect for summertime social gatherings, with fun indie music and eclectic seating arrangements sure to make everyone say "wow!"
All the seats are really shipping crates. The bathroom is a shipping container. All the walls are absolutely covered in beautiful spray-paint art. The bartenders are tattooed and have a healthy attitude. The drinks are cheap and good (none of the crappy headache waiting to happen brew here) and during lunchtime they serve huge gourmet hot dogs for $8. Check out the photos and see for yourself why you should never miss this place in your trip to Melbourne.
Dress Code: Casual is fine, thongs are not.
- Budget Travel
Double Happiness: A Chilled Communist-Themed Cocktail Bar
Walking down a quiet alley you get to the unusual eyesore of an old metal bicycle suspended high up on a wall.
There is no sign, no lights, no real way to tell that behind the thick wooden door under the bicycle is actually one one Melbourne's best-hidden secrets. Double Happiness is a "in-the-know" only bar that runs a fantastic communist theme bar-scene. Everthing is decidedly red in nature, from the lighting in the bar to the communist propoganda photos and posters on the walls, and to the Maoist cocktail menu. Grab a "Great Leap Forward" - a vodka lychee affair with delicious limes and soda water. A long neck of Tsing-Tao is $13 and should get you nicely social.
A nice touch - behind the bar are a series of lockers that reward frequent visitors - bottles bought at the bar can be placed unfinished inside a locker and kept safe until your next visit.
Dress Code: Dress neat - jeans and shirt are okay but this is primarily a casual business venue: you'd fit in best with business pants or a skirt and a button shirt.
Definitely no thongs.
- Budget Travel
Rooftop @ Cookie: Best View in Melbourne - Rooftop Bar
Covered in astro-turf and lawn chairs, Rooftop Bar atop Cookie Thai restaurant is maybe one of the best kept secrets in Melbourne - most locals don't know this place exists right above a "so-so" Thai Restaurant on level 7. However, it is definitely the best view with a drink in town.
Uni students and bohemians love it for it's moderately priced drinks and garden-like atmosphere, as well as the fantastic breeze that keeps it cool during a hot summer day.
The food is quite interesting as well - better than downstairs in my opinion... although as always the view you have while eating is a huge influence. I always take travelling friends here, because it gives me a way to show them the general areas and directions of Melbourne CBD from a bird's eye view, and it's a great little place to show off Melbourne's artsy and cafe-lounging lifestyle.
Dress Code: Anything goes during the day, but dress up to shirt and pants at night.
- Budget Travel
1806: Simply breath-taking cocktails at 1806
1806 is a slightly hard to find facade which leads downstairs into what is probably the best cocktail bar in Melbourne. If it's not the best, it's in the top 3 without a doubt.
The lighting is low and red, the bartenders masters of their craft, and the mood lively and talkative. Food is available and is great (menus are given at the door) however the main attraction and this nightclub's best drawcard are the absolutely incredible cocktails.
Each cocktail costs between $15-20 and each cocktail is a masterpiece in and of itself. Seeing these people mix you can instantly tell it's not just a job for them. They are making art here.
You can even sign up for a cocktail mixing class with one of the bartenders.
Dress Code: Business Casual or formal - you may get away with jeans and shirt if they are clean, not ripped, and polite. This nightclub has an atmosphere to uphold.
- Luxury Travel
Blue Moon Cafe: Backpacker's delight at the Blue Moon Cafe
The Blue Moon Bar and Cafe is a decently new place at the edge of the CBD which caters for the cheap youth and hostel crowd. It has a massive list of special offers on almost every night of the week.
Check these out:
Wednesday Themed Food night - no dish over $8 and food changes themes weekly: Mexican, Indian, Thai, etc
Thursday Quizmasters trivia and $10 parma's (An Aussie pub specialty) and $10 jugs of beer
Friday/Saturday/Sunday: 50% off food from midday to 10pm, 50% off drinks from midday to midnight.
If you call ahead and say you've got a group of 5 coming down, they will give you a free bottle of house wine as well. A further 10% off if you have any student card.
The venue itself is fun, clean and refreshing from some of the poshness of a usual Melbourne bar.
Dress Code: Smart Casual (Jeans and tshirt is okay, flip-flops are not.
- Budget Travel
Golden Monkey: Incredible atmosphere and cocktails
A fancy Southeast Asian inspired theme with lots of complicated, delicious cocktails. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and quite skilled especially with flaming cocktails.
This place won the best new bar of the year award for 2006.
Average cocktail price is $15, great Asian finger food is also available for around $8 a plate.
Not the cheapest place I can take you, but certainly one of the tastiest and most interesting.
Dress Code: Smart Casual - no sneakers and no torn denim.
- Luxury Travel
Baroq House: Excellent selection of drinks and great DJs
Hidden down a quiet unassuming laneway (like all great Melbourne venues) Baroq House is a 3 level club oozing elegance and style. The music starts 80's and becomes house closer to 10pm. Entry is free before 8pm, $15 after 8pm.
Happy hour from 5 to 8pm gives you $5 basics.
Dress Code: Dress to impress - a dress for ladies and a nice pants+shirt combination for men. No sneakers, no torn denim.
- Luxury Travel
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