Five new bars to discover in Melbourne

So many bars, so little time. This weeken is the perfect time to check out these new additions to Melbourne’s superlative bar scene.

New York state of mind

The classics never go out of style, as the Sofitel hotel’s latest place of refreshment confirms. The Mayfair is inspired by The Stork Club, the dearly departed NYC supper club frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Sinatra. Watch for 21st century celebs while lounging in this city slicker’s leather booths, amid candles and chandeliers. Contemplate caviar and cocktails. Get winsome with the whisky and cheese trolleys. Sashay up to a little something from the late-night menu (good evening, omelette with chicken and truffle gravy!).

Happily ever after

StoryVille is another new bar inspired by the classics. Step inside and wander through your childhood – with a glass of something 18+ in hand of course. The decor is borne of fairytales and fables: giant glowing toadstools, big old gnarly tree branches and super-sized book spines. As for what’s in your glass, choose your own adventure from both youthful and adult reading. Will you get that magical Harry Potter feeling with a Polyjuice, or finally taste the Moloko Plus from A Clockwork Orange?

A woman in a crowded bar standing in front of a light shaped like a mushroom


Basement bliss

One of the city’s original cool bars, Punch Lane now has a little sister down in the basement, Juliet Melbourne. She’s also a sophisticated lady focused on fine wine and food, but her style is more retro-industrial. Think whitewashed brick walls, exposed pipes and 60s leather sofas. Then think about that menu of small plates. Fancy some choice cheese and a ridiculously good red, or decadent desserts with classic cocktails? Strictly a late-week-evening venue, with live jazz on Thursdays.

Musical chairs

Sidling up to the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, Bombini Buzz presents a symphony of Australian tipples and fresh, locally sourced produce. Welcoming concert and theatre goers, and anyone else with a taste for the good life, it’s open daily until late. Friday is live-music night, but this riverside cafe-bar is buzzing with happy hour drink specials every day of the week.

Future tense

Ever wanted to hang out in a bar with Blade Runner’s Deckard? To celebrate the release of the timeless 1982 sci-fi classic’s sequel, Cinema Nova is opening the pop-up bar of your replicant dreams. Inspired by both films’ sensory wonders, Bar 2049 promises futuristic murals, video installations, silver unicorns and a Vangelis-esque soundscape. Blade Runner themed cocktails include Nexus 9 and Offworld.

A man walking into a dusty ruin

Bar 2049 is a pop-up bar inspired by Blade Runner. Photo: Ryan Gosling as K in Alcon Entertainment’s sci fi thriller Blade Runner 2049 in association with Columbia Pictures, domestic distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures and international distribution by Sony Pictures Releasing International.