Lygon St. is known for many things: Italians, restaurants, pubs, Ferraris, shisha pipes, Trades Hall. However, one thing it is not known for is its bar scene. One may find themselves wanting an after-dinner cocktail, or a start-of-the-night comfy lounge with a beer in hand. But whereabouts on Lygon St. is one of these?
Wander down towards the city, on the left hand side of the street. Pass the Clocktower, pass Di Mattinas, pass a non-descript atm. Thereabouts, you will find Carlton Yacht Club.
Or will you find it? Chances are, if you are a Lygon regular like myself, you will have passed this place time and time again. It is so small, dark and hidden that only those truly looking for it find it. Many a time have I sat inside the main window and watched my friends fly past, late and looking for that elusive bar.
Once inside, all you really have to do is enjoy. As one can tell by the pictures, red hues surround the comfy couches and seats. And trust me, comfort is the name of the game here. Leave your cocktail order at the bar and the excellent bar team will whip up whatever you like.
This is where Carlton Yacht Club really shines. The cocktails. An ever-changing list of new, old and fancy concoctions, their cocktail list is something to behold. And not just for the crazy names: 'Something Something Darkside', 'Satan and Lace', 'Re-Tox' are just three of the extensive list available. Beers and spirits are your basic, run-of-the-mill standards, but this does make the cocktail list shine out among the crowd. And if there is anything that you fancy that's not on the list, chat to the staff: they love a challenge.
Small hint: go on a weeknight, if possible. This is a site called Weekendnotes, but if you can make it during the week, do try. The quieter atmosphere is conducive to the feel of the place: relaxed and ambient. Weekends can get quite nuts, and the tiny bar space is not equipped to take too many patrons. The outside section can suffer because of this, getting cramped and uncomfortable. The quieter nights allow you to chat to the bar staff, make friends and drop your name once or twice. Once they know you here, there is no turning back.
So, in essence: weeknights CYC cocktails = very happy campers. If you camp, that is. If you don't, well: you'll still enjoy it.