Five new bars to try

The moment you think another bar couldn’t possibly be squeezed into this city of sophisticated tippling, Melbourne surprises with a few more. A great night out on the town just got even better.


One of the city’s most renowned chefs, Guy Grossi, has opened up the potential of the laneway behind his restaurant. Arlechin, his new late-night bar hidden down Mornane Place, is an intimate space with a subterranean atmosphere. Pop by for a quick drink at the marble bar, or settle in with one of their delicious bar snacks. But what to choose: an Italian or Australian red with the bolognaise jaffle?

Two bartenders making cocktails in a bar

Arlechin, the latest venue from the Grossi family

Osteria Ilaria

Melbourne’s everlasting romance with Italy continues at Osteria Ilaria, the new sibling to primo pasta joint Tipo 00 next door. Drop in for an aperitivo and let the bar-side kitchen’s sights and scents reel you in for a very smart casual dinner. After a wine or two, or perhaps a crafty beer or classy cocktail, you’ll be transported by the vibrant European vibe.

A plate of gnocchi

Osteria Ilaria

The George on Collins

These new kids on the CBD block are joined by The George on Collins. Are you old enough to remember the exclusive Georges department store that used to be here? Or do you only know the legend? Either way, this bar and all-day dining room demands your attention with its contemporary take on classic styles and flavours. Strike a pose with an artful cocktail, or kick back with your choice from the extensive whisky selection.

A bartender pouring liquid from a cocktail shaker through a strainer and into a glass

The George on Collins


Whatever office, store, factory or lab you’re toiling in, hightail it out of there ASAP and head to Docklands’ newest bar. With space for 950 punters, Hightail is made for partying – in style, thanks to Techne Architecture’s sleek, open design. Choose a drink from the 64 taps which feature everything from Australian and international beers to cocktails, then order some of Melbourne’s favourite fast-forward food. Belles Hot Chicken, and food truckers Super Taco and Mr Burger, are literally in the house!

The interior of a bar

Hightail bar

Willows & Wine

Keep heading west and with any luck you will find yourself in Willows & Wine. Quality drinks and snacks are this West Melbourne bar’s cake; shelves of pre-loved books and classic board games are the icing. Curl up with a glass of vino, a cheeseboard and classic novel. Get serious about a game of Monopoly with charcuterie and beer. That’s right, it’s your new home away from home.

Three people sitting on stools looking out the window of a restaurant

Willows & Wine