I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne who loves to get outside and enjoy the great city we live in.
Published June 29th 2012
There are many bars in Melbourne. People think that the bar they like is the best, usually, but this is not correct. The best bars are a little exclusive, which means that they're bars that most people don't know about. Not all incredibly hipster-ish alleyway bars are excellent, but a lot are. Likewise, the upmarket expensive place that everybody goes to is now frequented by unclassy people all the time. The quieter, more hidden expensive place is usually better.
A Black Russian cocktail.
Here are some bars you might enjoy to go out to with a date or some friends. They're also great for impressing co-workers. Differing people will have different opinions, which is why I have listed three different bars. Bar Open is good for younger, less well-off people, Bar Fred is good for trendy folk and hipsters, and the Carlisle Wine Bar is good for those with money or class.
Bar Open is on 317 Brunswick St. It's a loud, uncomplicated place - apart from being a bit hipster-ish, it's like many other bars. However, Bar Open does 'normal bar' the best in Melbourne. Every night of the week, it's alive and kicking. People who want a fun bar without the drama will love Bar Open. There's nothing worse than telling a friend you've found an incredible bar, but showing up to find the place quiet and boring,.
A delicious glass of Guinness.
There are bands playing every night of the week, an open fire place, a courtyard and no dress code. It borrows from the general Brunswick St party atmosphere, and is surrounded by some amazing Brunswick St restaurants. What's not to love?
Bar Fred sits on 797 Nicholson St, and in many respects it is the opposite of Bar Open. They both have 'bar' in their names, though. Bar Fred offers a selection of high-end beers, from five dollars for an import lager like DAB to fifteen-dollar bottles of beer made by monks. Make sure to reserve a table for large groups, though, since this place gets busy on weekend nights.
The décor and music is excellent - not too soft, not too loud - and they have a deal where all pizzas purchased with beer are five dollars. There is a large selection of both meat and vegetarian pizzas - and even one vegan pizza, the Vegan Special, with no cheese and extra pepper. It's perfect for any occasion, but don't take your rich father-in-law there to impress him.
Carlisle Wine Bar
The Carlisle Wine Bar is a self-consciously European bistro on Carlisle St, Balaclava. It's open late every day, which is a big plus, and it's the most expensive and classy bar on this list. The extra price means that the staff are more professional, the food and drink is more reliable and the patrons are of a companionable manner.
It's probably the best option if you're looking for a romantic dinner over a bottle of wine - Bar Open isn't classy enough, and Bar Fred is a bit too indie for some people's tastes.
What are your favourite Melbourne bars? Remember that it's mainly a matter of taste and opinion, so there are no wrong answers. Share what you think in the comments - we at Weekendnotes love to hear from you.