With Sonder’s sleek modern interior and queues out the door, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s located on Flinders Lane rather than in the heart of Melbourne’s Bayside. The Bentleigh bar opened in 2018 to a captive audience of south-eastern locals fed-up with travelling into the CBD to find somewhere to drink. Enter, Sonder.
If you live in Melbourne’s south-east, this is the place to be for Friday after-work drinks: $9 Mountain Goat pints and $5 house wines are on offer during happy hour every day from 4-6pm. And since it’s located across the road from Bentleigh train station, there’s no reason for you not to bring all your inner-city friends along, too.
Housed in an old bank building, Sonder sprawls over four main areas. The front bar is the most casual, with its laidback lounge seating and friendly service – this is where you should be bee-lining at the end of the work week. Over summer, you can order food from Sonder Kitchen seven days a week: amongst your options are grazing plates for sharing, Black Angus steak, or your choice of pizza.
As you wander upstairs, find your own “private slice of Cuba” amongst the glamorous 50s-style décor, and order cocktails like the ‘Sonder sunset’ and ‘Bentleigh garden fizz’ to start your weekend on a good note. Looking for somewhere to host your next big event? Sonder Sonic is the newest space to open on the premises, and is perfect for private parties with its trendy décor that is much more ‘prohibition speakeasy’ than ‘local suburban Scouts hall’.
The shining star of Sonder is the beer garden, affectionately dubbed their ‘backyard’. The area is lush with greenery, and makes the cutest hideaway for a nighttime date under the fairy lights.
It’s the perfect summer go-to: it’s bright and sunny in the afternoons, there’s live music on weekends, and it’s often serviced by a separate bar so you don’t have to keep running inside for drinks (and abandoning your date in the process). The beer garden closes at 10pm every night, which leaves you plenty of time to explore all the other nooks and crannies of this huge bayside establishment.
What’s more, this bar’s got you covered if you’re searching for something fun to do during the week or on a dusty Sunday morning. Cure your hangover with a classic hair-of-the-dog bottomless brunch from 1-3PM every Sunday, and gorge yourself on Sonder’s delicious food and endless amounts of mimosas, Aperol spritzes, house beer and wine.
If weeknights are more your vibe, Sonder runs trivia from 7PM every Thursday. Get a group of up to six mates and grab some dinner and drinks before flexing your general knowledge; in the past they’ve had themed trivia like Kath & Kim, so you just know you’ll be in for a good time. This Labour Day Eve, they’ve also got an awesome all-girls DJ lineup in store to celebrate International Women’s Day, featuring Nuala, Tiff Cornish and Philosophia. What better way to make the best of your long weekend?
Where: 438 Centre Rd, Bentleigh VIC 3204
By Kiera Eardley