Long gone are the days of sitting at the current ‘it’ bars, surrounded by the same old hipster furnishings, with pot plants hanging by your head, gilded mirrors in the toilets and abstract paintings lining the wall. Like yeah, that all sounds great, but have you ever been to a bar that used to formerly be a doctors surgery?
Yeah thought so.
The Croft Institute
21 Croft Alley, Melbourne CBD
Image Credit: Paul Louis Villani
I don’t always condone walking down shifty alleyways in Chinatown, but in this instance you must tread dangerous water to reach one of the oddest bars ever. Walk down Croft Lane and past a dumpster to find a bar where syringes are plunged into your drinks and your cocktail glasses are actually beakers that are reminiscent of your year 8 science class. Before you hit the D-floor for some deep house tunes, head to the toilets and check out the white tiled, hospital-esque bathrooms featuring an ex-patients bed for you to have a mini snooze on.
351 Wellington Street, Collingwood
Quirky is an understatement when it comes to this Collingwood bar. The Fox is a drinking den that houses everything you need to ensure you’re not just aimlessly drinking and talking to your friends about how their weekend was or if they’ve still got that random Tinder date coming up – let’s be honest, you’d much rather be playing Jenga. Well, at The Fox you can choose from a wide variety of board-games to keep you entertained, all whilst taking advantage of their cheap drink specials and parma nights. If you like a rustic, no frills kind of bar which brings out your inner-child, then this one is for you.
16 Corrs Lane, Melbourne CBD
Ever been to a bar that has a split personality? At Berlin Bar in Chinatown, be prepared to experience East Germany and West Germany (and don’t even think of crossing the border and potentially being labelled a traitor). When it comes to which side of Germany you want to be seated in, you don’t really get a choice. If you’re thrown into the pits of Western Germany, you’ll have to rough it out on milk crates and feel as though you’re trapped in an army bunker – however, there will be plenty of cocktails to keep you sane (and you won’t get trench foot, we promise). If you’re lucky enough to get ushered into Eastern Germany, be ready to be seated in the lap of luxury as you’ll be surrounded by dangling chandeliers and swathed in white leather furnishings. All the history-buffs out there can thank me later.
335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD
Calling all gamers and geeky nerds alike – we’ve found a bar that serves craft beer AND lets you play Nintendo 64 games! Sega, Mario Kart, Mortal Combat – you name it and it can be found at Bartronica on Flinders Lane. Fun tip: verse your friends at Mario Kart, and loser has to buy everyone a round. Pro tip: choose Bowser for total domination.
29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Okay so have you ever wanted to be inside the apartment of the TV show Friends before? You’ve probably imagined yourself numerous times prior sitting next to Joey on the couch, while listening to Rachel talk about her love life and imagining Chandler flinging out sarcastic insults left, right and centre. Well head to 29th Apartment for a New York style studio, with all the furnishings you would expect including mismatched couches, an exposed brick wall, board-games and DVD boxes that are actually menus in disguise. There’s even a dance-floor for when you and your friends want to have a boogie like you would if you were in your own apartment.
Eau De Vie
1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne CBD
Hidden away on Malthouse Lane in Melbourne’s CBD, is a bar that can very easily be missed if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. Eau De Vie is French for ‘water of life’, but if water was code-word for cocktails then this venue would most definitely be known for their ‘cocktails of life’. You have to walk past some dumpsters, find the enshrouded, secret doorway and then proceed to sit in The Whisky Room which is hidden behind a bookcase. If these walls could talk, they would certainly have some secrets to tell.
To ensure you don’t miss their front door, go to their website to take a look at where exactly they’re located.
However, if a swanky personal event is what you’re after, book a private space at Eau De Vie here.
By Nora Omar
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