Just when you thought another bar couldn’t squeeze into Melbourne, the city surprises with awesome new additions. Here’s 10 newbies for your next night out.
Park in Chinatown
Out of luck trying to find a palette to sit on at Section 8? Stroll over to Chinatown, where the brains behind the bar have transformed a disused car park into Park. This alfresco hang-out has brought plants and colourful murals into the concrete jungle. Food offerings are compostable and include organic soft drinks.
Arts Centre Melbourne’s new forecourt cafe-bar is now open – literally. Protagonist is a free-standing bar enveloped by bronze-coloured polycarbonate mesh. This new spot is open from AM to PM, so you can head down for everything from morning coffee to evening cocktails. Snacks include freshly baked cakes and multicultural interpretations of the great Aussie toastie.
Pop-up bar on a docked boat
Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat, a longtime favourite for Yarra River cruises, is now welcoming guests when she’s docked. That’s usually Monday to Friday from 11am to 9pm – call to confirm and book, then pop on board for drinks and tapas. Entry’s free and prices are especially nice during the 5-6pm happy hour, when beer and wine is $5. That city vista from Docklands may not move on a stationary boat, but it’s still pretty spectacular.
The re-born Cherry Bar
Goodbye AC/DC Lane, hello Little Collins Street! Melbourne’s legendary rock’n’roll bar is back in new digs, 400 metres from the venue it had to vacate in 2019. Once again, Cherry Bar’s tried-and-true mix of music-obsessed DJs, live bands and brews kicks on into the wee small hours. Raise your glass to a legend reborn.
It’s as new as the new year, but this grown-up playground has already become a Melbourne classic. Summertime Social’s fun times include giant Jenga, bocce, DJs and acoustic sets. There are lots of eats and drinks too, including bottomless Saturday brunch. Kick back on the lawn with an alcoholic slushie or ready-packed mini Esky. Or will you book one of this pop up’s cool retro caravans? They’re the ultimate option for enjoying an instant picnic with your mates in comfort and style.
Summer Night Market’s Gin Springs bar
The Summer Night Market is a Wednesday essential for lots of reasons. Do you go for the international street food, from yakitori skewers to churros? The crafty curated stalls? Or the free live entertainment, pop-up beach volleyball court and buzzing party atmosphere? Whatever draws you in, be sure to chill out at the Gin Springs bar. Inspired by Palm Springs, it’s got desert plants, giant pink flamingos and Melbourne Gin Company cocktails.
Lobster and Champagne goes casual at this pretty-in-pink bar-meets-diner. Settle in under Pinchy’s neon crustacean claw, or out on the big balcony if the weather’s nice. The menu’s loaded with lobster rolls and crab tacos, plus several vegie treats. Bubbly ranges from legit Champagne, like Veuve by the glass, to Italian Prosecco and local sparkling. Or sip Stomping Ground’s fruity sour beers and Pinchy’s signature bloody mary.
Speakeasy at The Barre
Inspired by Chicago’s prohibition era, Speakeasy at The Barre is the latest Arts Centre pop-up. Sit in the garden inside the sneaky green door and sip razzle-dazzle cocktails, whisky, gin and more. If you’re peckish, loaded pizzas, gluten-free snack boards and oysters await.
QT Melbourne’s Secret Garden Bar
What’s better than the stunning city vistas, modern comfort food and glamorous cocktails at QT Melbourne’s rooftop? All of the above in their Secret Garden Bar, popping up on the roof in collaboration with Four Pillars Gin. Find the hotel’s laneway staff entrance to discover what’s usually the kitchen garden. It’s transformed into an intimate bar on Thursday and Friday nights, but only until the end of summer. The cocktail menu highlights the garden’s herbs – you can even pick your own to mix with your gin of choice.
Adelphi Hotel Weekend Summer Sessions
Not a guest at the super-cool Adelphi? Not a worry. On weekend afternoons anyone can chill by the rooftop pool, which famously hangs over Flinders Lane. Adelphi Hotel Weekend Summer Sessions look to Italy – think Aperol spritzes (just $8 during happy hour) or Campari and soda. Entry’s free, so you’ll have change for classy snacks sent up from Om Nom Kitchen downstairs. Saluti!
Tanqueray Gin Pop-Up at Fatto Bar and Cantina
Fatto’s riverside terrace is downright irresistible on sunny days and balmy evenings. Particularly this summer, Wednesday to Sunday from 4pm, when specially crafted G&Ts are on offer and gin cocktails are on tap. The Tanqueray Gin Pop-Up at Fatto Bar and Cantina also has paired snacks. Tanqueray-washed Yarra Valley caviar, crème fraîche and chives, anyone? Yes, please!
Please drink responsibly.