A writer and editor with interests in travel, adventure, permaculture, music, arts and lifestyle.
Published September 27th 2011
Every thriving Fitzroy bar's checklist includes cheap beer, live music, space outdoors for a drink and a chat and a few handfuls of hipsters - it doesn't take much. The Evelyn Hotel on Brunswick Street meets the criteria and then some. From the outside, you find an unassuming pub on the corner of a busy street, it appears in a state of neglect – a worn, tired look as though the building has battled the ages. And indeed it has. It has become a Fitzroy institution.
The Evelyn is a lot more slick on the inside – although I use the term 'slick' loosely here. It boasts a large concert-style room at the back and a smaller, more intimate bar at the front with a pool table, a couple of lazy couches, and a few bar-top tables to suit.
This old veteran of the live local music scene in Melbourne has seen many a band starting their days off on their stage. Every night there is something going on whether it's an international set; an established local band; or a newbie on the circuit. If your budget doesn't allow for ticket prices grab a pint at the public bar and listen in from there.
Outside has one of the best curbs in Melbourne for a drink in the afternoon or evening with plenty of seating and heat lamps in winter. A perfect view is provided for watching the ever-bustling and colourful on-goings of Brunswick Street.
Student friendly nights are Mondays and Tuesdays, the kindly staff will pour you a ten dollar jug of beer. Thursday nights will be a little wilder with $6.50 Jagerbombs, and $2.50 pots. This aside, the major drawcard for me is the little wine shop attached at the front. The chap that runs it will sell you a decent bottle of vino before taking it to the bar for you to collect with wine glasses. Then you just need to find a cosy spot to sit and drink a delicious drop with your friends while soaking up the music and atmosphere that is The Evelyn.