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MINIBAR 20: INTROduction “Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. Yes is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.” – Stephen Colbert All motivational wankery and googly-eyed admiration aside, this is truly a quote to live a contented life by. There is a certain power in saying yes to things, more than ever during these short, cold days when the Everest of effort it takes to even leave the house might seem unscaleable. The simple solution seems to be burrowing deeper into your doona, but the only way to rescue yourself from an inevitable winter slump is to push against it. Say yes. Organise to meet your friends at the pub instead of calling in an early night, agree to a tango class in a suburb across town, accept invites and create your own. The beauty of this city is its willingness to embrace the chill and keep on kicking. This guide will help you through your winter jaunts. We profile some of the best bars, pubs and venues Melbourne has to offer this winter. Whether you are after mulled drinks, open fireplaces, nights of dancing, roaring log fires, a comforting feast, cocktails or a cleansing ale, we’ve got you covered so you can stay comfortable and cosy while keeping this city alive. So this winter, don’t sit still. Go out. Say yes. Enjoy

Cheers, Taryn Stenvei


CBD 6 ....................... Cabinet Bar and Balcony 7 ....................... Chi Lounge 9 ....................... CQ 10..................... Galley 11 ...................... Lounge 12 ..................... Misty Place

13 ..................... Papa Goose 14 ................. The Long Room 15 ..................... Roof Top Cider Bar 16 ..................... Toff 17 ..................... Transit 18 ..................... Trunk


NORTH 25..................... Damask 27..................... First Floor

28 .................... Gypsy Bar 29 .................... Town Hall Hotel


EAST 36 .................... Scarlett Lounge 37 .................... Tiki Bar & Lounge


SOUTH 41 ..................... 29th Apartment 42 .................... Hoo haa 43 .................... Iddy Biddy 45 .................... Pretty Please 46 .................... Mockingbird

47 .................... Suger Bar 48 .................... Photos 49 .................... Tyranny Of Distance 50 .................... Beat Venues

CREDITS Publisher Furst Media 9428 3600 Editor Taryn Stenvei Design and Production Pat O’Neill, Luke Benge Bar Editorials Mitch Brown, Estelle Griepink, Lachlan Kanoniuk, Melanie Lewis, Taryn Stenvei

Features Sean Gleeson, James Nicoli Photography Liz McLeish, Francesco Vicenzi, Laurence Barnes Bar Advertising Taryn Stenvei 0411 447 487

Any tips, trash talk, love letters and MiniBar 21 enquiries please direct to



Lt Collins St p. 9654 0915 w. Mon – Fri 12pm ‘til late Sat – Sun 2pm ‘til late




Climbing the stairs to Cabinet Bar and Balcony is like getting a little closer to Heaven. From the Wall of Fame lined with framed photos of the bar’s most loyal regulars, to the heated balcony overlooking leafy Swanston Street, there’s no better winter ‘home away from home’ than here, settled down into one of their comfy turquoise couches. Warm your mitts around some delicious spiced mulled wine while nibbling on their communal canapes with a friend and I challenge you not to feel your winter blues melt away.

At Chi Lounge you can combine both of these joys... then add in some nibbles, some friends and a beautiful backdrop and you have yourself a fabulous night in no time. Chi Lounge provides a decadent environment for a fun mixed crowd, with its oriental inspired interior, beautifully patterned walls and its cool yet funky vibe. Much classier than your standard karaoke haunt, it’s where East meets West and it’s set to impress!

The dark wooden bar, Victorian wallpaper, retro-chic décor and warm lighting make a comforting environment for those who are keen for a intimate chat with a friend, while the outdoor balcony, with its views of the Town Hall and the bustling street below, is ideal for socialising and unwinding as the world passes by. Safe to say, Cabinet Bar and Balcony is never short of things to display. 11 Rainbow Alley, Melbourne MINIBAR 20

Lonsdale St

Little Bourke St

Bourke St p. 9662 2688 w. 5pm - late

Russel St

It’s this inviting atmosphere that makes Cabinet Bar and Balcony a favourite amongst a plethora of people. Stop by during the day to find business men enjoying gourmet flatbreads and tapas style snacks for lunch, or stay as the sun sets and you’ll be joined by university students and city slickers climbing up the Cabinet stairs to enjoy a delicious cocktail or two, named after their regular customers and shaken up with flare by the friendly staff.

Swanston St

Russel St

Rainbow Alley

Swanston St

Bourke St

Chi Lounge

After you’ve marvelled at the beautiful decor of this Little Bourke Street treasure, with its warm lighting and dark chocolate Chesterfield you can grab your friends and head upstairs to one of the ‘oh so’ comfortable private karaoke booths. There are over 20,000 songs on the frequently updated database so whether you’re Disco or Diva you’re bound to find something worth ROCK’n out to. Though if you’re more in the mood to hip-swing than sing, just head downstairs to find a stylishly dressed crowd bopping to cool tunes spun by local DJs on level one. With Chi Lounge’s extensive seasonal cocktail list, boutique wines and delectable Asian-style tapas menu you’re guaranteed a fab night out with a side of luxury. Happy Hour every day ‘til 8pm with tasty tapas served ‘on the house’ Fridays for the hard working 9 to 5 crowd. There’s a new night kicking off on a Thursday in the next few weeks so stay tuned. We’ll sing to that! Level 1 to 3, 195 Little Bourke St Melbourne


PG. 7



AN ALL-IN-ONE DESTINATION FOR EVERY TIME AND OCCASION With a vast interior and a tropical Balinese inspired courtyard, Queen Street’s CQ is a venue that achieves the delicate balance of exotic warmth and classic sophistication. It’s an all-in-one destination for any time of the day, with the Lanai Restaurant and Bar serving Modern Australian cuisine for lunch, dinner, and drinks late into the night while offering great views of Little Collins and Queen Streets. Drop by for a relaxing afternoon drink on weekdays and you’re likely to see suits wrapping up a casual business rendezvous, or head there on a Friday night to see the well-to-do corporate crowd loosen their ties and mingle with the fun, younger and well-dressed crowd on the dance floor, pumping out moves to funky house before the DJ guides the night in the direction of classic dance and RnB gods like Prince, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Queen St

William St

Bourke St

For a breather, be sure to head out to the heated terrace which boasts possibly the biggest balcony in Melbourne, stretching the entire width of the dwelling, and with a marked tropical ambiance fostered by its waterfall and leafy green plants.

Collins St p. 8601 2738 w. 12pm ‘til late

There is also a large selection of function rooms available for hire to cater for nearby businesses and any private event you could dream up. The sprawling CQ has much to offer those who seek it out. 113 Queen St, Melbourne




PG. 9

The Galley Room

Flinders S t p. 9629 1350 w. Thu & Fri 4pm ‘til late Sat 6pm ‘til late Perfect for functions

CBD PG. 10



Moored beside the Yarra on the Western end of Flinders St, The Galley Room was only launched in February 2010 but has already earned its fair share of chatter due to the winning combination of an inspired drink selection and quality food enjoyed in a luxurious atmosphere.

As the mercury drops lower and we delve into the depths of winter, it gets increasingly tempting to just stay in the comfy confines of one’s own lounge room. But let’s face it, your lounge room is a little bit shit - there’s never anything on the telly, you’re always warring with housemates in regards to thermostat politicking, and those weird stains on the carpet are starting to emanate with a funky aroma. That’s where Lounge, situated smack-bang in the middle of the CBD, provides all the creature comforts of your own lounge, without any of the accompanying negative attributes. Situated perfectly for after-work drinks or an ideal meeting place, the brief stair-climb as you enter off Swanston segues your body temperature nicely into the warm surrounds. Don’t be surprised if you experience the same fuzzy sensations as enjoying a warm pudding in your favourite PJs, nestling into the bosom of a loved one. Celebrating its 21st birthday, Lounge has built a reputation as an intrinsic component of the CBD’s night-time lifeblood. The Lounge club has long been a showcase for upcoming and established DJ talent, with the venue being part of many a beat aficionado’s staple nightlife diet. The space is frequented by individuals who stand out from the crowd – arty farty types, the glitz and the glam, and music lovers after something new. Oh, and hungry people of all walks of life. There’s a delicious menu and huge dining area possessing a naturalistic, foliage-draped and candlelit ambiance. As for those who want to suck in the open-air under a toasty heater, the venue boasts Melbourne’s first illegal balcony - wrong since 1991 (but so right).

A favourite among architects, lawyers and city workers, everything in this venue is designed for sharing, from the night grazing menu to the comfy Italian sofas, double-sided fireplace and luxurious leather booths. The marble-adorned Galley Bar is tucked away discreetly on Level 1 of the Waterside Hotel which has a history stretching back to 1853, but this sleek and recent addition to the family will leave you questioning why you haven’t peeked in the porthole sooner. Level 1, 510 Flinders St, Melbourne MINIBAR 20

Lonsdale St

Little Bourke St

Russell St

Possessing one of Melbourne’s most creative cocktail lists designed by an award winning bartender, each selection is lovingly prepared by an attentive staff member who is more than happy to do all the work for you, leaving you free for an intimate chat with friends in your own private corner. And you are able to easily hold a conversation over the atmospheric background tunes, spun by rotating DJs including Andy K Dever, Tom Showtime and Agent 86 playing sophisticated soul, rare grooves and lost classics for all ends of the spectrum, from the discerning listener to the open-minded novice.

Swanston St

King St

Spencer St

Collins St


Bourke St p. 9663 2916 w. Mon & Tue 11am ‘til 12am, Wed & Thu 11am ‘til 3am, Fri 11am ‘til 6/8am, Sat 1pm ‘til 8/10am, Sun 1pm ‘til 1am

243 Swanston St, Melbourne


PG. 11

Misty Place

Flinders St p. 9663 9202 w. Tue 5pm ‘til 11pm, Wed 5pm ‘til 12am, Thur 5pm ‘til 1am, Fri 5pm ‘til 3am, Sat 6pm ‘til 3am

CBD PG. 12



Despite reigning as one of Melbourne’s best original lane way bars for thirteen years now, Hosier Lane’s Misty Place still manages to look fresh and new. Is it the friendly and approachable bar staff, the artsy types who line the funky vinyl couches, or the warm and inviting vibe that greets you as soon as you walk through the door? Or could it be the Kubrick-inspired back bar, decorated with a variety of colourful alcohol bottles carefully sourced from across the globe and lit up from below like a luminous rainbow relic to the gods of drinking? We’re not entirely certain, but we are sure of one thing - Misty is in a class of its own when it comes to secluded lane way haunts.

While Mother Goose raised us with her stories, her male counterpart has been eagerly awaiting us to reach maturity, keeping himself busy in the kitchen creating beautiful food and behind the bar perfecting his cocktails. At least that’s what Melbourne bar and restaurant Papa Goose will have you believe. One of the newest haunts on Flinders Lane, the downstairs restaurant with it’s exposed ceiling beams and slightly industrial modern style is perfect for a casual, classy and memorable dining experience. The private dining room, seating 22 and decorated with a changing art exhibition, is available for a more intimate affair.

3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne


Collins St

Flinders Lane

Exhibition St

It’s a sophisticated yet fun crowd that frequents Misty Place. The limitless variety of people who come looking for the high quality drinks Misty is renowned for comfortably blend together in the slick, multi-hued surrounds. Relaxed tunes provide the perfect backdrop and add another dimension to the cool vibe. Whether you’re on the quest to find a delicious cocktail blended to perfection, or you’re just seeking somewhere to kick back and chill out after the early sunset with some good company, your mystery stops with Misty Place.

Russell St

Russell St

Swanston St

Collins St

papa goose

Flinders St p. 9663 2800 w. Restaurant, lunch Tues-Fri from 12pm Dinner Mon-Sat from 5:30pm Upstairs Bar, Mon-Sat 5pm ‘til late Perfect for functions.

If instead, you are in the mood for grazing on some tapas while downing a couple of expertly prepared cocktails, head up the metal-clad staircase to the bar. With its New York minimalist feel, comfy leather lounges and artwork commissioned by the street artist who decorated the outside lane way with a fairytale themed mural, Papa Goose is the perfect unpretentious winter bar. The long, narrow marble bar overlooks the city and gives you a relaxed atmosphere to unwind and spend some social time on Friday nights. The after dark Manhattan vibe draws a crowd of professional 30-pluses, mainly populated by creative suits in the form of designers and architects from the hip surrounding area. As they say, “liquid treats, delicious eats and old school beats – come to Papa.” Papa Goose is certainly worth more than a gander. 91-93 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


PG. 13


roof top cider bar


OUR CIDER BAR RULES The Roof Top Cider Bar atop the Young & Jackson Hotel in the middle of the city is dedicated to celebrating the beverage that Melbourne is famed for loving. Providing for the numerous punters who just can’t get enough, the specialty bar prides itself on being the only one of it’s type in the country.

The literal venue name describes merely one of the features of this stylish and sophisticated bar. Located in the iconic George’s Building in the middle of the city, there’s a true Melbourne mishmash of design and ambiance that make this the perfect venue for every occasion. It’s East meets West with a touch of New York City, and it’s all overseen by the Longroom logo and mascot George, the towering resident moose.

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to choose between the 25+ bottled international and local ciders and the nine varieties on tap, the bar has gone and one-upped itself by introducing four new hot mulled ciders for winter. Keep the cold at bay by wrapping your mitts around a warm winter cider from Napoleone or Rekorderlig.

The space is set to impress with its breathtaking interior and stylish décor. There’s a long sandstone bar running down one side of the room, a main room full of lounges, chaises and ottomans, and plenty of dark cushioned seating in hidden alcoves and booths to cosy up to the lass or lad of your dreams.

Collins St p. 9663 7226 w. Tues – Thurs 4pm ’til late Fri 4pm ’til 3am, Sat 5pm ’til 3am Perfect for functions

CBD PG. 14

When you’ve made an effort to look polished, you’ll want to be rewarded with a big night out, and the Longroom certainly delivers with a range of DJs who will keep you dancing all weekend. Suffice to say, Longroom is so much more than the name implies. 162 - 168 Collins St, Melbourne MINIBAR 20

Collins St

Flinders Lane

Swanston St

The Longroom crowd are a stylish set – a fun mix of corporates kicking back after work and party people on the weekends. Think girls in dresses and heels, and guys in smart casual attire. The upmarket dress code complements the atmosphere of the bar nicely. Expect to see waiters in all-blacks gliding effortlessly from table to table serving amazing cocktails and delicious interesting food. We recommend the sushi and tapas.

Elizabeth St

Russell St

Swanston St

Bourke St

Flinders S t p. 9650 3884 w. Sun – Thu 12pm ‘til around 10pm Fri & Sat 12pm ‘til 1am

The venue also creates its own fresh Scrumpy cider with a sweet blend of Jazz Apples, served from a famous French Oak Barrel. It can also be served mulled for a perfect warm dessert substitute with hints of apple pie to delight your taste buds. If you want to switch up the environment, head to Young & Jackson’s middle level for a microbrewery showcase in the chilled Chloe’s Bar, or enjoy some live music and a bistrostyle meal in the main bar downstairs. The Young & Jackson is one of Australia’s oldest pubs, and the Roof Top Cider Bar is a truly unique hidden gem. It’s Australia’s original cider bar. And it rules. Cnr Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne


PG. 15

The Toff Stage & Carriage

Transit Cocktail Lounge



Inside an unassuming doorway off Swanston Street’s bustling thoroughfare the quaint elevator awaits your passage. Through the historic Curtin House it ascends, past Cookie’s Juliet balconies, celebrated dining room, boutique beers and beautiful people, to Cookie’s sister venue, Melbourne jewel: The Toff.

Many venues might claim that they’re located right in the heart of the city - but where is that exactly? We think Transit Cocktail Lounge comes remarkably close. Once you are inside, a sly turn of the head is all it takes to be treated to stunning views of the Yarra River, the Arts Spire, Federation Square and the Southbank Precinct against a backdrop of Melbourne’s city skyline. Add a classic Martini and a plate of tapas to share and watch this vibrant city with all its offerings unfold before your eyes.

With lovers of music and cuisine in mind The Toff is defined by two dedicated spaces: the Carriage Room – named for vintage-train-inspired dining cars traversing the main bar – and Stage Room – an intimate performance space where all corners provide vantage to the velvet curtained stage.

Bourke St p. 9639 8770 w. thetoffi Carriage Room: Mon-Thur from 5pm, Fri from 3pm, Sat from 5pm, Sun from 4pm, Stage Room: As per gig guide

CBD PG. 16

Level 2 Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne MINIBAR 20

Fed Square

Yarra River Linlithgow Ave

p. 9660 9911 w. Weds – Sun 5pm ‘til late Perfect for functions & events

Batman Ave

After a pre-performance banquet it’s to the adjacent Stage Room where artists and music lovers relish the closeness and diversity of the respected room. Local legends grace the same stage as up-and-comers, national award-winning artists and international music darlings in what can only be described as breathtakingly intimate. Rely on Choo Choo’s for post-show snacks until 3am weeknights and 5am on weekends.

Flinders St St Kilda Rd

Little Bourke St

Russell St

Swanston St

Lonsdale St

A key ingredient for The Toff’s revered status among Melburnians is Choo Choo’s, the Thai kitchen run by Karen Batson – the head chef who creates magic for hungry bellies at both Cookie and Revolver Upstairs’ Colonel Tan’s. The Ode To The Toff menu section means friends still call upon cheese platters to be delivered to their carriage at the press of a button before ordering Thai delicacies to share. (More romantic tête-àtêtes are achieved in quiet privacy behind sliding carriage doors.)

Quite literally a step above (well, lift ride...) its downstairs public bar, Transport, Transit Cocktail Lounge is the place to go if you’re looking for understated elegance and a bit of vintage glamour. You’ll be greeted by a sprawl of black designer sofas flanked by red velvet curtains and an impressive drinks list. Cocktails are always popular with the varied Transit crowd, which includes a mixture of inner city Melburnians and international visitors. The wine list has some great offerings too, spanning the continents and giving you the opportunity to taste a variety of blends, or maintain your high spirits by sampling some of the premium spirits on offer. Boasting an elite selection of live musicians playing the best jazz and swing on those ‘late night’ days of the week, don’t be surprised when you are tempted out of your seat on the terrace for a twist and a dip. If you end up in the CBD, this is the perfect post-work unwinding spot that will accommodate you until you can tear your eyes off the view to go home. Good luck. Level 2, Transport Hotel, Federation Square, Melbourne


PG. 17


THIS LEAFY SPACE HAS MORE UNIQUE QUALITIES THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT Occupying a leafy garden corner at the Exhibition and Little Lonsdale intersection, Trunk has grown to be an exciting food and wine precinct in Melbourne’s thriving bar and restaurant scene. Its namesake is the massive and beautiful 150-year-old heritage listed Coral Tree housed in it’s garden courtyard – one of the many great things that contribute to the ‘one of a kind’ nature of this space.

Russell St

Exhibition St

La Trobe St

Lonsdale St p. 9663 7994 w. Mon – Fri 7am ‘til 12am Sat 8am ‘til 12am Sun 8am ‘til 4pm

CBD PG. 18

Additionally, it houses a beehive in the roof that produces honey used on the menu in both the restaurant and the Diner. Below the hive you’ll find the aptly titled Honey Garden where you can slow down with a drink in hand surrounded by pots of fragrant herbs and vegetables also used by the chefs. The striking architecture of Trunk is complemented by a minimal, clean, white design with bursts of busy black and white graffiti-styled illustration tucked away into corners. Combine this with a creative cocktail list and the fact that Trunk is the sole single-story building remaining in the CBD, and it’s safe to conclude that Trunk is truly a unique space. It’s upmarket, cosy and unassuming nature draw in a mix of the creative young business crew, including musicians playing at jazz venues around the area, culture vultures on the way to the theatre and suits on people who wish they weren’t. The playlist adds to the ambiance with a rotation of tunes including the ethereal Flying Lotus and Toro y Moi, hip-hop and soul super-group The Roots as well as prodigious electronic three-piece Seekae. 275 Exhibition St, Melbourne


MULLING AROUND Warm Wine, Whiskey and Cider


ay back in 1912, a jolly old Merseyside baker by the name of Charles Joughin was in the employ of the White Star Line, producing delicate pastries for the first-class ticketholders on one of the company’s new intercontinental passenger ships during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. At the top of his profession and earning a decent crust (LOLOL, etc.), life had hitherto been good to Mr Joughin. Admittedly, life might have been even better if said passenger ship had not crashed into an iceberg four days after leaving Southampton. Luckily, Charles had one thing going for him. He was a brutal, irredeemable pisshead who couldn’t so much as coat the icing of a doughnut in sprinkles without getting completely sauced on whatever barely drinkable turps were left over in the liquor cabinet from the previous night. As it happened, when the hull of the Titanic was getting intimately acquainted with one of the Atlantic’s larger icebergs, Joughin had been on one of his more grandiose whiskey benders. “Well, all the lifeboats have cast off, and I am well and truly rooted,” Joughin said to himself, or something like that in its 1910’s cockney rhyming slang equivalent, “but I may as well make a dash for the stern and hope for the best.” And so, off he stumbled, no doubt mournfully lamenting what a tragic metaphor for mankind’s hubris the vessel had become as he held the panicked third-class passengers at bay with a bread knife. When the ship was pulled into the depths, Joughin was left treading water for two hours before a rescue boat scooped him out of the freezing water. MINIBAR 20

PG. 19

The point is this, dear reader: Joughin would not have survived for so long in the frigid conditions if he hadn’t completely loaded up on Scotland’s finest export beforehand. There is a lesson here for all of us. As the Antarctic winds continue their yearly descent on Melbourne, and seasonal depression cocoons its citizens in a miasma of blackclad, self-involved wankery, there is a great deal to be said for a therapeutic warm beverage to lift the morose out of their winter funk. Not to mention that such a drink greatly increases your chances of survival should your tram home accidentally collide with an errant iceberg and plunge you into the depths of the Yarra. Here are three of the best and where to find them.


Ah, the Scottish: never solve a problem with modern medicine when alcohol can do the trick cheaper by half. For the last few centuries this sweet beverage has been used as everything from a home cure for the flu to a means of sending disobedient children off to sleepy time. The traditional recipe calls for a shot of whiskey simmered in water, honey and lemon over a stove, with cloves, nutmeg, citrus rind and cinnamon added to taste. Bartenders are of course a fickle breed, always trying to reinvent old classics, and in recent years some of Melbourne’s hospitality set have tried to steer the hot toddy away from its Highlander roots and experimenting with brandy or dark rum. I remain firmly of the opinion that there can be only one hot toddy, and the discerning high-end alcoholic should always insist on something single malt. Any decent cocktail place in the city should be able to whip you up one in a couple of minutes by heating up the liquid in espresso milk jugs. Otherwise, both Prudence in North Melbourne and Tyranny of Distance in Windsor, keep a mean batch on the stove throughout the winter months.


An old favourite of the colder climes of Eastern Europe, mulled wine is to winter what sangria is to summer: the most expedient way of turning the cheapest bottle of corner store piss into a beverage which will satisfy the daily nutritional requirements of a fully formed adult. PG. 20


Cloves, seasonal fruit, nutmeg and a hearty serving of sugar are brought to the boil over a stove, and then wine is added and left to simmer. The result: a Temporary Protection Visa granting residence in flavour country’s most pristine real estate. This drink has proliferated in recent years, especially in al fresco venues looking for a cheap way of insulating their customers from the winter chill. You’ll find a decent pot on the go at Cabinet Bar and Balcony and Section 8 in the city, Tyranny of Distance (masters of mulling, it seems) or the Royal Saxon on the private school runoff end of Richmond.


We’ve come a long way since the Dark Ages of 2002, when Strongbow ruled the roost through sheer lack of alternatives. Thankfully, with the mining boom, investment properties and all the other accoutrements of Australia’s economic prosperity, the middle-classes have used their enhanced sense of self-entitlement to revolt against Colonel Strongbow’s oppressive regime and demanded an end to One Cider Rule. Dubbed the Apple Tree Revolution, the latest fruits of this cider renaissance are epitomised by Swedish brewers Rekorderlig, who have just begun exporting their latest line of winter apple cider, which is infused with cinnamon and vanilla and goes neatly with a couple of minutes on a hot plate. (Empty it out of the bottle first, you berk.) Mulled cider hasn’t taken off in Melbourne yet, most likely on account of what a pain in the arse it is to prepare: generally a cider needs to be kept simmering for about half an hour in cloves, cinnamon and brown sugar to yield decent results. In the city, Young and Jackson’s Rooftop Cider Bar does beyond a decent drop, and newcomers 99 Problems on Johnston Street in Collingwood also rate a mention. By Sean Gleeson MINIBAR 20

PG. 21



e hear hot toddies are a proven remedy for the common cold, the flu, a stutter, a broken heart, sea sickness, shingles, Bell’s palsy, and being stung by Wu Tang’s Killa Beez. We also hear all that is bogus. Whichever side of the fence you are on, the important thing is that they are delicious and basically entirely booze. Have your friends over for some idle chit-chat and pretending to be adults over hot toddies before you go out and hit the town. Here is how. Serves 4 8 shots of whiskey 1 lemon 2 teaspoons of honey 10 cloves 3 cinnamon sticks Water

PG. 22

Combine whiskey, water, honey, cloves, cinnamon sticks, the juice of half a lemon and a few slices of lemon rind. Add ingredients to taste. Stir slowly on low heat and bring to a simmer. Once warmed through, enjoy.



A SOPHISTICATED YET UNPRETENTIOUS STEP ABOVE THE BUSTLING BRUNSWICK STREET With its beautiful Damask patterned walls, warm lighting and clusters of cushy couches, Mediterranean Tapas and Cocktail Bar, Damask is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of busy Brunswick Street below. Perched atop Melbourne café institution The Fitz, this hidden bar is accessed via the side street, so thoroughfare traffic and street stragglers are few and far between. Damask is perfect for larger groups who want a relaxed meal, sexy cocktails and great tunes as the night rolls on.

Nicholson St

Brunswick St

Alexandra Pde

Johnston St

p. 9417 4578 w. Thur – Sat 5pm ‘til late Sun 12pm ‘til 12am Group bookings available



Loosen your tie, but don’t feel pressured to strip off your work attire just yet. While Damask offers a relaxing evening experience, you’re likely to see the mid- 20s to 40-somethings who populate the bar make an effort to look their best while they mingle, and mingle you will. Whether you decide to enjoy your plate of delicious spiced lamb, yoghurt and parsley pizza near the warmth of the open fire, or on the spacious deck with it’s modern water feature, you’re sure to strike up a conversation with a fellow Damask dweller. It’s a beautiful balance of friendly comfort and upmarket elegance that characterises Damask. While classy and stylish, any form of pretentiousness is left at the door. Damask is all about having a sophisticated night in the inner northern suburbs without the snobbery. 1st Floor, 347 Brunswick St (via Kerr St)


PG. 25

First Floor 393

YOUR AUTHENTIC LATE-NIGHT STREET CLUB ON THE NORTH SIDE A night free from social constraints and inhibitions awaits you at the very top of this Brunswick Street staircase. Climb on up and you’ll discover First Floor, still one of the only places left in Melbourne where people actually move. There’s none of this ‘I’m so cool I may as well be frozen’ foot tapping business going on. First Floor fans come here to dance, you’ll love them for it and you’ll become part of it. With some of Melbourne’s most renowned DJ’s including Agent 86, Paz, Oohee, Moonshine and Simon Sez, pumping out only quality tunes, who can blame you for giving up the comfy couch, you can’t help but move - it’s contagious!

Brunswick St

Alexandra Pde Nicholson St


Johnston St

p. 9419 6380 w. Fri & Sat, 9:30pm-5am Functions, Event Nights & Public Holidays

After you’ve released all those inner dance moves and become one with the regulars, you can go for a wander and admire the array of artwork by Brunswick Street’s finest, check out the beer garden, capture a memory in our ‘old skool’ photo booth or just crash back onto one of the cushioned lounges with your mates. There’s no better way to rejuvenate than with a pot of cider or a famous First Floor cocktail before you get up again to groove away as the clock sneakily ticks into the next day. It accommodates up to 300 people and there’s an exclusive VIP Lounge available for those special nights out. At First Floor, it’s all about peoples just being peoples letting loose on the dance floor. If you haven’t experienced a night out at First Floor now is the time to discover, and if it’s been a while since your last wild night out there - you guessed it - it’s time to rediscover! 393 Brunswick St, Fitzroy


PG. 27



If you could teleport your cosy lounge room to the heart of Melbourne’s trendy Brunswick Street and add a couple of creature comforts like a delicious plate of tapas, a plentiful flow of sangria and some intimate live music performances, you’re getting pretty close to the relaxed atmosphere of Gypsy Bar. Complete with paintings hanging on the wall, just like home, Gypsy Bar is a popular haunt of just about anyone, really - couples, music lovers, chillers, bohemians and foodies, all from ages 20 to 80.

In the recent explosion of slick and sophisticated city bars competing for a slice of a Collin’s St salary, it’s nice to know there’s places still sticking to the traditional public house formula: good music, good food and good booze, without any kind of exclusivity.

Johnston St

p. 9419 0548 w. Mon – Thu 12pm ‘til 1am Fri – 12pm ‘til 4am, Sat – 11am ‘til 4am, Sun – 10am ‘til 1am


334 Brunswick St, Fitzroy MINIBAR 20

Victoria S t p. 9328 1983 Mon – Thu 4pm ‘til 12am Fri – Sun 12pm ‘til 12am

Wellington St

Errol St

Live music is the most popular fixture of this bar, and probably the one that makes Gypsy just that much better than your own lounge room at home. Drop by after work from Monday to Wednesday and kick back to some acoustics, mark Thursday nights in your diary for a variety of live bands, and it’s a mixed bag as the weekend rolls in. From Friday to Sunday, it’s really the customers and bartenders of the night who decide what will play - if you’re lucky, your own iPod might get its fifteen minutes of fame.

Queensberry S t

Smith St

Smith St

Brunswick St


Step out of the bitter Melbourne wind and into the warmth of Gypsy Bar and it’ll probably be quite some time before you’ll want to leave again. The mirrored bar, sultry lighting and artistic décor sets an eclectic and ambient atmosphere, encouraged by the friendly and witty bartenders and band of locals who have frequented Gypsy Bar for years.

Alexandra Pde

PG. 28

Town Hall Hotel

The half-industrial, half-happening North Melbourne houses local favourite the Town Hall Hotel. What the traditional pub lacks in frills, it makes up for in sheer character. The front bar has a ramshackle stack of CDs on rotation and plenty of old LPs decorating the walls, with everything from the Rolling Stones to Telly Savalas. Posters, stickers, number plates and newspaper clippings serve as venue wallpaper, while comical and often poignant sharpie graffiti covers the restroom walls. The lovely bar staff at this unpretentious local serve a drastically varied crowd, but expect to find at least one young politics student having a yarn, one middle-aged local watching the muted footy and one salty old rock dog propping up the bar. A hidden gem out back, the renovated beer garden is leafy and with thatched stalls and all wooden furniture, ideal for a Sunday session in the winter sunshine. The dining room, with its mismatched furniture and open fireplace, is perfect for enjoying one of their solid pub meals like an exceptional parma or a roo steak. There’s live music here most nights of the week, and the recent revival of a new band booker suggests that the venue tried leaving live music alone, but couldn’t. The soul here is too strong. 33 Errol St, North Melbourne


PG. 29

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’m not sure if anyone’s mentioned, but it’s the middle of winter. Its freezing cold, the wind is howling, the rain is falling and at this point you wouldn’t be all that shocked if snow starting to fall upon this southern city we call home. Nothing to do except stay indoors, turn on the TV, sit in front of the heater and contemplate how big the next gas bill is going to be. The warmth of summer, its beer gardens and good times are all just a faded memory now, right? Wrong! Just because its winter and the temperature gauge has only reached a maximum of 12 degrees for the third day straight doesn’t mean you can’t escape from the house or the office, head for the closest beer garden/balcony/courtyard of your favourite establishment and enjoy your beverage of choice. Melbourne, as we all proudly croon the praises of, is king when it comes to bars, pubs and cool places to drink the hours away. But it’s also full of venues that refuse to let the winter blues (literally) rain on your parade. There’s bars and pubs a-plenty equipped with magical outdoor areas, beer gardens and balconies, where you can drink outside till your icy heart unthaws, all the while toasting away and getting all the warmth and love you need from some serious outdoor heater action. And this, my friends, is great news for pretty much everyone. For MINIBAR 20

PG. 31

smokers it means you don’t have to freeze to death and succumb to the elements while lighting up. For all you sporty types, you can now include ‘drinking on a porch’ as an outdoor adventure. And then there’s the rest of us, who simply enjoy a drink with a side of cool, crisp, fresh air and perhaps a great view to match. So then, where are these lovely establishments, with killer heated outdoor areas to match? Well, let’s see. If you’re after brilliant views then Transit Bar in Federation Square is trumps. The beer garden is nice and spacious, the heaters are cranking but really it’s all about that view. Looking out over the Yarra river just as night begins to fall and the city lights begin to glow, with the Arts Centre, MCG and the Eureka Tower all in plain view; priceless. All of this with your favourite drink in hand; truly sensational.

and roaring; a perfect little spot for huddling up nice and close with a loved one. It overlooks Swanston Street also, so you get to people watch and see things from the other side. Across the river on the other side of town, Tyranny of Distance in Windsor boasts another fine outdoors area that takes up half of the venue. It’s fully undercover and fully heated so it’s fully perfect for all you smokers, and it comfortably fits about 50 people or so. Hidden away on trendy Brunswick Street on the first floor above the Fitz is Damask. It’s a lovely little cocktail and mezze bar that has an even lovelier outdoors area. The elegant rooftop deck, with wooden furnishing, a water feature and umbrellas makes you feel like you’re at your mates place. It’s small and cosy, and nicely heated too – perfect for those outdoor winter drinks.

But it doesn’t end there. Just down Swanston Street is a Melbourne institution named Lounge. If you’re big on people watching (and let’s face it, in this age of online voyeurism and ‘checking in’ to places, who isn’t?) then this is the outdoors area for you. Their lovely rectangular beer balcony (which is apparently illegal but oh-so-right) has plenty of room and a couple of cracking heaters to keep you warm and toasty. And the view looking out over the hustle and bustle of busy Swanston Street; well screw movie tickets. There’s literally hours upon hours worth of free entertainment right there.

Wander through the unassuming door way and up the stairs to the eclectic Hoo haa on Chapel Street to get your fix of dining, drinking and good times. The generous outdoor terrace is ideal for star gazing and tipple sipping. Come on a weekend night and you’ll find it buzzing with activity.

Walk across the other side of Swanston Street and down Rainbow Alley and you will find the hidden Cabinet Bar and Balcony. The balcony is small, cute and cosy but the heaters are big

By James W Nicoli

PG. 32


So there you have it. Chin up, and no more excuses. Unpeel yourself from the couch, grab your jacket, scarf, beanie and gloves (makes life much easier when trying to grip on to an ice cold beer) and head out to your favourite bar. Buy a round of your preferred spirit, then proceed directly to the outdoor area to make a toast while you roast. You’ll be in wintry heaven.


PG. 33



PG. 35

scarlett lounge

Highett St

p. 9482 0230 or 0412 986 600 w. Thu, 6pm ‘til 12am Fri & Sat 6pm ‘til 1am Ideal for functions




From professionals to students, musicians to executives, the Scarlett Lounge in Richmond is a universal lounge room extension. What use to be an old warehouse has now been converted into Richmond’s gift to the drinking public, brimming with golden Buddhas, Moroccan lanterns, antique mirrors, a Tarantino homage, cosy couches and a crackling open fire, all against the backdrop of an indulgent deep red décor. Nestled away in Burnley Street, just off Bridge Road in Richmond, the spot is a real hidden gem that will leave you scratching your head as to why you didn’t visit sooner.

For too long the word ‘Tiki’ has been associated with a garish and so-called embarrassing lapse of taste. But in this post modern world, the heart, soul and rhythm of ‘New Tiki’ is back to reclaim the title of king of the cocktail world. Tiki was born in the 30s and reached the height of popularity in the 50s before submitting to a decline in the 70s at the hands of cultural critics and nay-sayers.

With a BYO food policy, this venue is virtually calling out for you to order your favourite take out, stop by and nab yourself a premium spot next to the fire. Settle on in. 74 Burnley St, Richmond


Swan St Burnley St

In one corner you might find a couple sharing an armchair, in another a group of friends having a quiet D&M, but despite the chilled atmosphere of this eclectically decorated bar, you’d be wide off the mark to write Scarlett Lounge off as just a place to kick back and relax. This Moulin Rogueesque venue transforms into a lively party as the evening progresses, and with one of Scarlett’s soothing beverages in hand, you’re sure to have a fun night mingling with the diverse range of people looking for a good time.

Coppin St

Burnley St

Church St

Victoria S t

Tiki Lounge and Bar

Barkly Ave

p. 9428 4336 w. Fri & Sat 6pm ‘til late Sun 6 ‘til 11

Cheeky and exotic, the Tiki Lounge and Bar in Richmond is a venue that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a space unlimited in its versatility. Walking through the door, expect to find anything going on from a regular tango night to a cabaret performance, or just good old fashioned service with a bit of showmanship, a strong dash of alcohol and a little bit of magic. The venue is uniquely curated with a selection of stylish nooks to hide away in, with an overall feeling of being in a pagan temple (the perfect attribute of a devilishly swanky destination). It has a cocktail list and style that won it a mention in the New York Times bucket list of venues world-wide. The Tiki Lounge and Bar feels like a secret sanctuary for special cocktail liaisons on Richmond’s very own Swan St so pull up a stool and drink like you have all the time in the world. You have escaped to paradise. 327 Swan St, Richmond


PG. 37


hey’re our protection against danger and crime, the guys and gals who gate-keep and guard bar doors, shielding those inside from drunken buffoons, violent vagabonds and 17-year-olds armed with their mate’s ID and liquid confidence from one too many Cruisers down the hatch. Despite this, bouncers and security seem to be constantly getting a bad rap. We anonymously spoke to one of the bouncers from a venue profiled in this magazine to get the lowdown on their line of work.


29th Apartment

TAKING THE ‘HOME AWAY FROM HOME’ IDEA TO THE NEXT LEVEL Oh, hi. Come on in and make yourself at home. Inspired by the apartment of a lady of the New York night, 29th Apartment is a bar with a personality, a story and a complete identity. It’s ‘owner’ is 28-year-old ‘Katishe’, who supports her career as a struggling artist by moonlighting as a working girl. 29th Apartment has everything you’d expect to find at your friend’s place including a queen-sized bed, scattered milk crate seats and a kitchen for late night snacking, plus a few things to surprise you, like a DJ spinning tracks in a bathtub, and…well, we won’t give it away, but for a laugh check out what lives next to the illuminated fish tank housing Katishe’s pets. Fitzroy St

Park St

Acland St


Jackson St

p. 9078 8922 w. Mon & Tue 4pm ‘til 3am Wed-Fri 12pm ‘til 3am Sat & Sun 9am ‘til 3am

29th Apartment is decked out with art, trinkets and knick knacks brought back to ‘New York’ by the owner on her worldly travels, a dog-eared collection of favourite board games like Connect 4 and Scrabble, and a much loved pinball and foosball machine. Hanging out at 29th Apartment is like going to your best friend’s house party, but you leave without feeling obliged to stick around and help clean up the mess. The dress is casual and the delicious cocktails are flowing, making it a favourite with St Kilda locals and the hospitality crowd. The venue blends public and private, making an interactive and interesting themed bar that will completely absorb you in the story without ever dropping the ball. This bar doesn’t have character – it is a character, so go and get acquainted. 29 Fitzroy St, St Kilda


PG. 41

Hoo Haa

Union St

p. 9529 6900 w. Tue – Thu & Sun 4pm ‘til 1am Fri & Sat 4pm ‘til 2am




It’s no surprise that Hoo haa bar is popular with the well-dressed and creative South-side dwellers. Although the unassuming Chapel St entrance doesn’t give much away about this bar and restaurant, take the journey up the stairs and you’ll be greeted by a vibrant bar with wallpapered birds of paradise, silhouetted orange curtains, leather banquettes, rustic wall lights and a generous outdoor terrace.

Despite its proximity to busy Acland St in St Kilda, arriving at Iddy Biddy feels like you’ve stepped into a hip yet homely Chapel St haunt. The exposed brick walls of this quiet bar are not laid bare, but are dotted with interesting artwork and framed posters announcing upcoming music tours. It’s an organic kind of cool, mirrored by the artistically strewn treebranches around the nook as well as the bare-bones tree trunk and scrawled handwritten bar name that signifies their identity.

And speaking of eating, we promise that the bar’s Super Parma, brought back by customer demand, is one of the city’s finest. Whether you’re mingling with the regulars on the terrace out back or having an intimate meal with friends in one of the more secluded booths inside, you’ll want to make this charmingly different bar one of your regular haunts in Windsor. Go and check out what all the ‘Hoo haa’ is about. 105 Chapel St, Windsor


Blessington S t

Botanical Gardens

Dickens St p. 9525 3320 w. Mon – Thu, 3pm ‘til 12am Fri – Sun, 12pm ‘til 12am

Tennyson St

It’s the recycled and contemporary design that will draw you in to Hoo haa, but, it’s the extensive list of fresh house cocktails, with their quirky bird-inspired monikers, that will have you struggling to leave. The bar is equipped with an extensive spirit list, specialty tequilas, wine list and boutique beers on tap including James Squire Golden Ale and Kosciusko Pale. Resident DJs spinning tracks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights make Hoo haa a popular destination for all forms of fun – eating, drinking or dancing.

Mitford St

Chapel St

Thomas St

Green St


The crowd is hip and happy and the bar caters to them by matching the music to the mood, whether it’s Friday night drinks crowded around the 1980s arcade machine or a quiet weekday sitting on the sidewalk reading a book in the sunshine. With a capacity of only 50 people, it’s a venue that lives up to its name but even the most worldly of drinkers will be surprised at how a bar this small can house a drink collection this large, including international and local beers on tap plus a wide range of wine and whiskey, perfect for winter. Iddy Biddy provides for your hunger hankerings also, with $10 meal specials from Monday to Wednesday and a famously huge parma you’ll struggle to see the end of. Stylish, yet simple and effortless, Iddy Biddy is less of a bar and more of an experience. 47 Blessington St, St Kilda


PG. 43

Pretty Please

YOU DON’T HAVE TO ASK NICELY TO SEE THE MAGIC UNFOLD AT THIS SOUTH-SIDE SPOT You’d be forgiven for feeling like you’ve stepped onto the set of Alice in Wonderland when you enter the visually stunning pink lacquered double-doors of St. Kilda’s Pretty Please, and after making your way through the top-to-tail junglelandscaped wallpapered entrance, you might need to pinch yourself to check that you’re not dreaming.

Fitzroy St p. 9534 4484 w. Thurs – Sun 9pm ‘til 7am Perfect for functions

Canterbury St

Park St

Mary St

The stunning two story space encompasses an expansive lower level dance floor, catering to those looking to let loose within arms reach of some of the globe’s best DJs (the opening year hosted Gorillaz DJ set, Spinderella, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina to name just a few), alongside an intricate upstairs lounge area containing a labyrinth of booth seating for those wanting to embrace a more casual, intimate environment while enjoying the same tunes. The venue’s complex design creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere throughout both levels and the staff are supreme, with on-hand table service so you can sit back with a cocktail with not a care in the world. Pretty Please is the perfect final destination for a huge night out, where an array of sounds – from deep house to old school hip-hop - will have you dancing until the early hours. The venue also offers private function hire for parties of all types, which is a big win. In only a year, Pretty Please has established itself as a South-side institution for those who know where the good times flow. 61c Fitzroy St, St Kilda


PG. 45

mockingbird bar

Burnett St

p. 9534 0000 w. Wed & Thu 5pm ‘til 1am Fri & Sat 3pm ‘til 1am Sun 3pm ‘til midnight




Manhattan’s Upper East Side and St Kilda’s Fitzroy St don’t generally feature in the same sentence, unless that sentence is, “St Kilda’s Fitzroy St is nothing like Manhattan’s Upper East Side.” That, however, hasn’t stopped Mockingbird Bar from tapping into the retrospective charm of old New York’s high society. With a high, ornate ceiling and mosaic floor, the bar, which is housed in the circa-1857 building The George, celebrates the long-standing beauty of the structure it inhabits. It reflects on the building’s age with art deco touches like red velvet drapes, gold leaf fittings and hand-painted wall art that are more than enough to do old Blue Eyes proud.

Located in the heart of cosmopolitan St Kilda, Suger Bar is ready to make your night just that little bit sweeter from 5pm until late on a daily basis. Whether you’re in urgent need of a cheeky mid-week drink after work or looking for somewhere to canoodle discreetly on a first date, Suger Bar will take the edge off your nerves with their intimate lighting, cosy couches and incredible cocktail and wine list.

129 Fitzroy St, St Kilda MINIBAR 20

Fitzroy St

Park St

Not one to skimp on authenticity in any respect, Mockingbird’s beaten copper coffee machine has even been sourced specially from Rome, which is perhaps why it is such a favourite spot for designers and creative suits to get their daily fix. Local jazz musicians stop by to hear live acoustic performances on Thursdays and Sundays and the wide ranging list of cocktails has also made it well-liked with high-flying executive women. We hear a favourite is the wildly popular Espresso Martini, enjoyed over a grazing plate of tapas shared with friends. If you’ve always wanted to make it in Manhattan, you should make your way to Mockingbird Bar.

Acland St

Grey St

Princes St

Fitzroy St

Suger Bar, Hotel Urban

Jackson St

p. 8530 8888 w. 5pm ‘til late

While passers-by are always welcome to come in and sample a boutique beer or the fun and flirty atmosphere, Suger Bar also makes the perfect venue for a private function. Whether it be an 18th, 21st, or 40th birthday party, an engagement celebration or hen’s party, Suger Bar have got it covered. Nevertheless, just like the clever chameleon of a location that it is, Suger Bar also knows how to mix business with pleasure. When the need arises, Suger Bar can transform from a vibrant nightspot into the ideal location for a corporate function (of course, post-function drinks are a definite option). Despite the intimate, exclusive events and functions which take place at Suger Bar, to its regular guests it is simply a perfect refuge from the winter cold. No matter what type of evening you’re after, Suger Bar will have you coming back for more. The best part? You won’t even have to worry about finding your way home after your night out - Suger Bar has accommodation on site at the modern Hotel Urban. Now that is truly sweet. 35-37 Fitzroy St, St Kilda


PG. 47

Tyranny of Distance

A STYLISH ACCIDENTAL ART GALLERY WITH RECYCLED REMNANTS OF AN INDUSTRIAL PAST Tyranny of Distance was reviewed in 2009 by Matt Preston as “underpinning why our bars and cafes attract so many envious glances from over the border,” and indeed, the Melbourne soul of the venue establishes itself more and more.

Chapel St

Thomas St

Green St

Union St

p. 9525 1005 w. Mon-Fri 7am ‘til 1am Sat & Sun 8am ‘til 1am

Championing a large outdoor area that’s undercover with heaters in winter, and open in the summer, Tyranny of Distance is interested in attracting people who are looking for something a little removed from the main drag. It caters for an adventurous crowd, like the regulars who frequent the spot decked out in hats, tats, moustaches and jewels. With a quality selection of drinks from the “Lubritorium’ bar, including cocktails, wines, top-shelf spirits, boutique and tap beers, it’s best to get in and secure a spot early for happy hour from 4-7pm, especially during the Friday night flare-up. A self-described “industrial tin shed”, the design at Tyranny is a little rough around the edges, with a unique artisan recycling philosophy resulting in a colourful second-hand gallery of sorts. Several Melbourne artists were responsible for Tyranny’s design and while graffiti hides old sins, they’ve left one token of the service station that used to exist here – a totem pole made from an old compressor and BBQ gas bottles. As the bitingly cold weather tries to sodden our spirits, we are looking forward to refuelling with Tyranny’s new tapas menu and their warm mulled whiskey and wine. Be sure to keep this handsome Melbourne goodie on the cards come springtime as well. It’s worth going the extra mile for this south side destination. 147 Union St, Windsor


PG. 49



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*HSSSHUKSPULVUS` VY  Application forms available at Police Stations


PG. 51

MInibar 20  

Minibar Winter 2011