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Five Melbourne bars to break your routine

It’s inevitable. We all start to visit the same bars over and over and become caught in routine. Like your favourite spot on the couch, you’ve worn your beloved venues down into a dependable list that fits you perfectly.
But it’s a new season, so let’s see if we can get you off the figurative couch and into some worthy venues. Who better to convince you than the faces behind these bars?

Embla Bar Melbourne

Visiting Embla is like catching up with an old friend.


The constantly updated wine list; the team of people who genuinely care about how your day was; the neutral, inner-city location; the wood-roasted broccoli with sunflower seed miso – these ingredients go part of the way to explaining how Embla brings people together.
Embla is for spontaneous of walk-bys. It’s for solo drinking. It’s for bumping randomly into people you know. Its personality is akin to an old friend, who is there when you need them, who knows how to pull you out of a mood and who just gets you.
The food menu veers into slow-cooked and spicy territory, mushrooms feature and the wine list leans toward the deeper and darker varieties. This bar could easily become your regular after-work meeting place.

Nieuw Amsterdam Melbourne

Curl up with a good book at Nieuw Amsterdam.

Nieuw Amsterdam

There are many reasons to pay a visit to Nieuw Amsterdam, with late-night supper clubs, post-midnight degustations, cocktail dinners and cocktail competitions on the menu.
Like a mood ring, Nieuw Amsterdam’s vibe changes depending on how you feel. You’re free to escape here. If you’re not up for socialising, hide out in the corner and get lost in a book or hunch over your laptop and write a novel.
A lot of the building’s bones are original from the 1880s – adding to the authentic inner-city ambiance. We love the contrast between the open and bright “Uptown” restaurant with its high arch windows, and the dark and moody “Downtown” cocktail bar where you can easily lose a few hours.

Boilermaker House Melbourne

Put Boilermaker House on your list.

Boilermaker House

If you’re a whisky lover, Boilermaker House delivers. Besides 860 bottles of whisky, 30 different cheeses and more than 25 cured meats, you’re in for seasonal brews (porters, stouts and dark reds), and great cocktails.
Think sophisticated, yet rustic, but paired back and relaxed. That’s the feel of Boilermaker House. Get comfortable over a fluctuating playlist. The music moves between deep southern blues, modern blues, rock and roll and heavy mainstream.


You’ll be drawn in for intimate conversations at Romeo Lane.

Romeo Lane

With Romeo Lane, you feel like you’re walking into a bar that’s shielded from the outside world – but as soon as you cross the threshold, you’re met with an explosion of people having a wild time.
The brass and copper picture lights add a sense of privacy and warmth to the individual tables – perfect for huddling together with friends over cocktails dating back to the 1930s. Look out for delicious ingredients, such as ginger, sweetened ginger juice and honey.
You’ll be drawn in for intimate and close-quarter conversations, and you’ll want to stay and watch the energy build as the bar fills with people.

Henry St Brewhouse

Spend next Friday night at Henry St Brewhouse

Henry St Brewhouse

Their tagline is “brewed next door”. Henry Street Brewhouse is a hands-on, personal business. They brew by hand, they do so without big, shiny stainless steel tanks, and they brew only two kegs at a time.
If the Kensington village vibe hasn’t lured you over to this inner-city community, their beer plans may. They’re often brewing their own vision of beer, such as a pumpkin ale, a coffee porter or a Belgian double.
When you clock off on Fridays, take your #TGIF to Henry St Brewhouse – especially when it’s raining – and take home a growler for the weekend.
*Please drink responsibly*