637 - 641 Chapel St South Yarra VIC 3141
T: +61 3 9040 1222
F: +61 3 9098 1556
Level 1, 373 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Tucked away on Chapel Street, a 10-minute walk from The Olsen, is Melbourne’s premiere cabaret venue and South Yarra’s own Speakeasy, Red Bennies. As you climb the stairs, a deco-inspired interior pays homage to the glamorous era of the 20s and 30s, but the real action is on the stage, with live performances every night- be it music, cabaret, burlesque or circus. Red Bennies vintage feel extends to the plentiful cocktail menu, where there is an emphasis on sours, juleps and of course martinis, all named after stars like Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day.
438 Church Street, Richmond
Within walking distance from The Olsen is Der Raum, arguably Australia’s best cocktail bar. Der Raum serves what can only be described as an entire libraryof original and experimental cocktails, lovingly created with carefully-sourced ingredients. Their most well-known drink is the ‘pharmacy’ cocktail- pear and roasted capsicum gin, served in a medical-looking jar, complete with a citrus pill and syringe of bitters. Der Raum also has wide selection of exclusive liquors you won’t find anywhere else. They even have a cocktail degustation menu. The bar has become private this year, with non-members advised to call ahead, but it is well worth it for a unique and expertly-crafted drinking experience.
190 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
The term ‘Gin Palace’ once referred to a disreputable drinking den filled with debauchery. Now, this basement cocktail bar on Little Collins Street (which claims a history dating back to the late 1800s) has embraced the term and the “immoderate behaviour” that comes with it. Gin Palace pride themselves on their martinis, with a whole page of their menu dedicated to this classic drink. They even offer a ‘martini master class’ for those interested in carrying on the tradition. An eclectic mix of vintage-looking arm chairs and paintings create a ‘basement luxe’ atmosphere, with private alcoves scattered around to tuck yourself away in.
New Gold Mountain
21 Liverpool St Melbourne
One of Melbourne’s best kept laneway secrets, New Gold Mountain is a surreal, almost eerie wonderland reminiscent of colonial Shanghai and with an eye to wine and specialty cocktails. Take a 10-minute cab ride from The Olsen and step inside the unmarked red door to an exotic, orient-inspired world where well-heeled Melbournians lounge in opium dens and ordering a drink is as simple as describing a flavour (New Gold Mountain encourages spontaneous and customised drinking). Sours are the house specialty, with each created specifically for the venue.
Level 7, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street
Another, if not the Curtin House hot spot, Rooftop Bar draws an eclectic mix of patrons who come to savour the expansive view of Melbourne’s CBD. Climb a rickety staircase and stripy deck chairs on plastic grass spread out before you. The food and drink menus at this unpretentious, laid-back bar are limited but pleasing. Between December and March, the Rooftop Cinema is the focus of the space, screening a selection of indie and cult films once the sun goes down.
The Melbourne Supper Club & Siglo
Level 1, 161 Spring Street
If Frank Sinatra were alive and well he would be a regular guest at the Melbourne Supper Club. Located on Spring St, the Melbourne Supper Club exemplifies classic old-world glamour, with stuffed chesterfield lounges and an encyclopaedic selection of wines and cigars. As the name suggests, there is also a selection of sumptuous late-night food. Upstairs, Siglo terrace bar (affiliated but a bar in its own right) provides a European café setting with unrivalled views of Parliament house and gardens.
The Toff in Town
Level 2, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street.
The Toff in Town is nothing if not unusual. A train carriage runs through the centre of this dark bar, dividing the main bar into private booths that allow for intimacy in this popular venue. As you buzz for service, knowledgeable staff present a range of late-night dining options from Thai restaurant Choo Choos, located on the same floor. A list of local and imported beers, wines and spirits are designed to complement the food. Cocktails are also available. A Stage room hosts musical acts on most nights, ranging from the internationally renowned to the obscure.