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Unusual After Work Bars in Melbourne

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Bored of the usual Friday night after work drinks? Fancy drinking your way into a fairy-tale or sipping your night away out of a test tube or beaker? Here’s 5 of Melbourne’s most quirky themed bars that are sure to give you that escapism we all look for after the work week.

Croft Institute

The-Croft-Institute-quirky-bars-melbourne-entertainment-cocktails-beerDoes drinking out of a plastic syringe in an abandoned asylum sound more exciting than sitting in the wine bar across from work listening to Jan from accounting complain about the new blend of coffee in the barista machines? If so, grab your mildly tolerable co-workers and take the short walk through china town to The Croft Institute.

Despite what we were always taught in school, “Don’t eat or drink in the laboratory”. The ground floor is designed to imitate an old school science lab surrounded by shelving full of test tubes and beakers with a range of custom designed cocktails to suit your taste. If you make your way up the eerie staircase and through the asylum styled halls you will find yourself in the ‘Gymnasium’ room, with Dj’s to take you through the night.

So after the insane work week you just had, come along and drink yourself sane in this abandoned asylum.

Address: 21 Croft Alley, CBD Melbourne, VIC

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday. 5pm – 1am, Friday. 5pm – 3am. Saturday. 8pm – 3am.

Click here for more information.


It’s Friday night, the work week has been rough and sometimes you really need to escape from reality. Why not take the plunge and fall down the rabbit hole with a cocktail in hand? Storyville taps into your imagination and delivers you to a land of fantasy and fairy tales.

Leave your worries at the office, walk through the metaphorical back of the cupboard and get yourself lost inside the Narnia of Melbourne Bars. Relax beneath the giant toadstools and let your tastebuds and imagination run wild with the array of cocktails inspired from your favourite childhood story books.

The work week drives us all a little insane so become the mad hatter at your own table and order a “Through the looking Glass” cocktail served in a teapot with the magical touch of dry ice. Leave the briefcase at work, wander down the path of the enchanted forest and let yourself unwind in the whimsical world of Storyville.

A very happy-unbirthday and Friday night to you all.

Address: 185 Lonsdale Street, CBD Melbourne, VIC

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday. 5pm – 1am, Friday. 5pm – 3am. Saturday. 8pm – 3am.

Click here for more information

The Luwow

Even the most career devoted of us sometimes spend the afternoon daydreaming of being on a beautiful tropical island, sipping mojitos and basking in the sun. Don’t have enough time to cross waters but you do have enough time to get to Fitzroy? Well walk through the doors of The Luwow into a tiki holiday paradise.

Covered in jungle vines, skull podiums and tiki statues, you will be transported to an island escape without having to leave the country. Their extensive cocktail menu replicates that of a beach side bar shack, so you can start your night slow sipping on a Mai Tai and maybe go on to share one of the large group size punches amongst your friends.

If you have come straight from work, there is no need to leave your tropical paradise, snack on some tiki tapas or dive into one of the Vietnamese inspired share platters available from the neighbours at Café 58 up until 10pm.

Go on a mini holiday this Friday night and unwind in The Luwow.

Address: 62-70 Johnson St, Fitzroy Melbourne, VIC

Opening hours: Wednesday through to Saturday. 5pm – Late

The Luwow is available for private functions, click here to find out more.

Holy Moly

Slipped up at work and need a divine intervention to make peace with your boss but you can’t wait until Sunday? Head to Hawthorns Holy Moly, where Sunday Mass is every day. Holy Moly is a multi-faceted venue containing a Sports Bar, a Chapel inspired pizza restaurant and the Untz Untz nightclub above the two.

For some of you a relaxing Friday night is sitting back with a beer and watching the latest sport with your friends. Holy Moly’s sports bar has 8 wall mounted screens so you won’t have to worry about missing a minute of the action.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, there is a selection of cheap pizzas and loaded fries, So pull up a pue and unwind with your friends while preparing for the Friday night Karaoke. When your end of week celebrations have come to a finish there’s no need to worry about your transport home, Holy Moly is located directly across from the Glenferrie Train station so you can finish your night with ease.

Address: 66A Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn Melbourne, VIC

Opening hours: All week. 11am – Late

Holy Moly is available for private functions, click here to find out more.

29th Apartment

So it’s Friday night, you’re exhausted after work and you just want to go home but your friends are dragging you out? Oh well, If you can’t go to your own apartment you should atleast go to the 29th. With the décor including a bath, bed and a range of board games you are sure to feel at home.

As for the theme, 29th apartment plays homage to its former resident, the struggling artist ‘Katishe’ who had to work the streets of St Kilda to support her dreams. Katishe mysteriously disappeared in the early 80’s and the current owners altered the venue to be a casual art gallery and bar in the historical setting of her old apartment.

So if you can’t go to your own apartment, head to Fitzroy street, sit back on the couch and relax in this historical bar with a game of connect 4 or giant jenga.

Address: 29 Fitzroy St, St Kilda Melbourne, VIC

Opening hours: Monday to Friday. 6pm – 3am. Saturday to Sunday. 4pm – 3am.

Holy Moly is available for private functions, click here to find out more.


By Elizabeth Spicer


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