is a freelance writer/student living in Melbourne.
Published October 4th 2011
As the door girl happily explains, Laundry Bar has been a part of the Fitzroy heartbeat "forever." Having re-opened after recent renovations, Laundry Bar captures the casual-indie-grunge Fitzroy vibe right down to its worn leather couches and dim lighting.
Laundry is located on Johnston Street; a stones throw from public transport or a cheap cab fare from the city. Resting just outside of the city fringe, the bar maintains a steady flow of patrons without accumulating the stifling crowds of the inner-city bars and clubs.
The bar comprises of two levels, both dark and stylishly dingy. Downstairs the room is lined with plush, old leather couches and roomy booths for larger groups. The décor is entirely black, including the bar, ceiling and staircase, yet doesn't feel overwhelmingly gloomy. It's a welcoming space, encouraging conversation rather than mind-numbing incoherent music.
The live music stage is upstairs, which is slightly smaller than the lower level–though no less comfortable. Again, there's ample seating space and the bar is easily accessible–the room is defiantly designed for an audience. Laundry maintains a consistent line up of both fledgling and veteran Melbourne bands, and on the night we visited, local band No Zebra were in full swing, and the Premodernists were kind enough to level behind a stack of free EPs.
Thursday night is FREAKOUT night, and drinks are criminally cheap right up until midnight. The regular specials include $4 vodka, $5 bombs, $7 beer jugs and $7 jugs of sangria. Although, as the friendly bartender explained, the sangria is "the most ghetto sangria ever," and is largely just red wine mixed with lemonade and a few decorative pieces of fruit. And if you ask for Bacardi, you'll get a blank stare–Laundry apparently doesn't stock or serve any recognisable liquor brands, but will always provide a close second.
The crowd is great, casual and relaxed, without the pretence that occasionally pervades in the Brunswick/Fitzroy area. It seems to be a fairly local, "old faithful" haunt for most, and it's easy to see why. The staff are great, the drinks are cheap, and the entertainment is plentiful. The new Laundry is an all-round success.
Details about Laundry Bar can be found on their website. Hours are typically 7pm onwards, and entry is either cheap or free.
yeah it's not so much that laundry doesn't serve 'recognizable' brands it's just that selling havana club bianco or having 7 brown rums like havana, appleton, capt morgan, sailor jerry etc is a little more socially acceptable in this universe than bacardi and bundy!