Decisions, decisions. Way too much choice when it comes to quality bars in Melbourne. I am talking about the bars with a chic, unique angle and those type of bars not designed to be dancing in all night long. I am referring to the bars where you can sit down and have a number of decent conversations with your friends, and its okay to still be on your first drink an hour later, if your lucky. Bars where (they could be Melbourne's best kept secret) there is a little bit of a wait - however you are in and seated quite quickly.
The Berlin Bar at Corrs Lane definitely tops the list. You would be forgiven for thinking that you are amongst the Berlin Wall action, as if you are actually in Germany; yet your still in Melbourne. It's overly weird. A glass of merlot last Saturday night could have easily knocked me out; it was that strong. So are their cocktails; one with a liquorice like taste and the one with wasabi in it - I wanted to try that - however they ran out of wasabi macaroons. Oh well, next time. A group of 10 of us scattered along a small table and sitting (almost lying down) on the bottom bunk, were soon to try the top bunk when the rails almost came loose. Weird, but I oh so like it. If your coming from Lonsdale Street cutting through, just watch out for the uneven steep lane way leading into this establishment; especially when wet.
The Market Lane Bar at the Rialto is just opulent and stunning. It is ust as great on the weekends, but if you are in the mood for a glass of wine on a Wednesday night, come here during happy hour between 6pm-7pm off hand. You are looking at $5 a glass which is great value for this establishment and its just so swanky and decent conversations are to be enjoyed around the corporates if any of them are still hanging around. Swish service, its nice to try at least once. The glasses are in a weird and distinctive shape.
The Red Hummingbird on Russell Street is just another world. If you don't mind standing for a bit (this establishment is quite small and gets super crowded) then all is fine. And make it outside too, and you get a good view of the QV Centre across the road.
There is also the The Martini Bar at Collins Street at the Westin Hotel. You have to be in the mood for a laid back high quality cocktail experience. If you are not in the mood to drink a high quality cocktail - then leave your martinis for another night. Dressy is good here too, as jeans are a little out of place here.
There are so many other great bars; however these have become the creme de la creme of bars when it comes to wanting to spend some quality time with your friends (a group of you; maybe you haven't seen each other for at least a month) and extend the conversations a little bit without speaking over the top of each other in some cases. Cheers