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The Weirdest Themed Bars in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Bars | Nightclubs | Lists
Published August 20th 2014
From the coolest to the tackiest
The Weirdest Bars in Melbourne
Melbourne is famed for its bar culture, with endless laneway bars where half the fun is finding the place. These are some of the strangest bars in Melbourne, with oddball themes that make going for a drink so much more exciting. Some are city attractions that every Melburnian has heard of, if not been to; others are little-known gems that have been hiding under your nose.

the luwow tiki bar melbourne
Melbourne's very own Tiki bar, The LuWow. Image: The LuWow Facebook page.

Chill On Ice Lounge
Southbank's Chill On Ice Lounge is a cool bar to chill in. At negative ten degrees Celsius, you can only stay in the icy bar for up to half an hour. During that time, you'll sip on refreshing cocktails served in glasses made of ice, and sit on ice furniture. To survive the sub-zero temperatures, you must wear a poncho and gloves, which make you feel quite large and clumsy. Not the best attire for gripping onto your icy shot glass, but what Chill On Ice Lounge lacks in comfort, it makes up for with novelty value.

chill on ice lounge melbourne
My visit to the Chill On Ice Lounge (2012).

The Croft Institute
The Croft Institute is a creepy science laboratory themed bar and club which is loved by locals and tourists alike. The place is decorated in scientific glassware - the type you'd recognise from your high school science classes rather than anything too advanced. Cocktails come with oversized syringes, and the bathrooms have dingy beds reminiscent of a school sick bay. The iconic Croft Institute is a laneway bar which can be tricky to find - it is so very Melbourne.

the croft institute melbourne
What could be more Melbourne than a lab-themed bar hidden down a smelly, graffiti-covered alleyway? Image: The Croft Institute.

Madame Brussels
One of Melbourne's most famous bars, Madame Brussels is a kitsch garden party wonderland. The interior is kitted out with astro-turf and wrought iron outdoor furniture. With fruity cocktails flowing and staff in skimpy retro tennis outfits, it has the feel of a rich person's back garden. The place is named after colourful brothel owner Madame Brussels, who operated several bordellos nearby in Lonsdale Street in the late 1800s.

madame brussels melbourne
In most workplaces, asking the staff to dress like this would be illegal. Photo: Madame Brussels Facebook page.

Storm in a Teacup
Purchase all your tea needs at Collingwood's Storm in a Teacup, and get tipsy from tea infused with booze while you're at it. It is a fairly laidback place, as you would expect from a quaint specialty tea shop, rather than a lively bar with pumping music. Enjoy hard liquor and tea delightfully married together for your afternoon tipple.

storm in a teacup melbourne
Tea-licious boozing. Image: Storm in a Teacup Facebook page.

The LuWow
Go on a holiday to the fantasy islands of yesteryear at LuWow in Fitzroy. The Tiki bar is decked out with over-the-top décor, with a matching Tropical-themed cocktail list. The LuWow has two main sections, and of course they have cringeworthy names: 'The Island Village' for a sit-down area with table service, and 'The Forbidden Temple' for drinks and dancing. Sleazy entertainment, such as hula shows every Friday night, completes the theme.

luwow tiki bar fitzroy melbourne
The LuWow Tiki bar. Image: The LuWow Facebook page.

Fans of LuWow may also appreciate the Tiki Lounge and Bar in Richmond.

Robot Bar
All of Melbourne's laneway bars are quirky in their own way, but the Robot Bar is more eccentric than most. The Japanese bar has an obsession with toy robots, as the name may suggest. Robot memorabilia and art defines the place, which even has a hanging installation of small toy robots. Anime screenings every Tuesday night demonstrate that the Robot Bar's allegiance to Japan goes beyond the gimmicky robots. Of course, they have a large selection of sake and Asian beer, and an extensive cocktail menu.

robot bar melbourne
Hanging robot installation at Melbourne's quirky Robot Bar. Image: Robot Bar.
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Why? To impress any foreign visitors you're hosting.
Your Comment
Great idea for an article, Tash! :)
by Fiona Anderson (score: 2|986) 2425 days ago
What's the location?
by vogel (score: 1|19) 2424 days ago
After location of the Chill Bar.
by vogel (score: 1|19) 2424 days ago
I went last saturday and to be honest,i wouldnt bother going,its really NOT worth the money.I got vouchers so they were $14 each,Im so glad I didnt pay full price. You are cheaper buying a bottle of vodka or whatever you drink and standing in front of your freezer with the door open and the stereo on full blast so you cant have any conversation.Its about the same experience just a lot cheaper!
by lauryn (score: 2|141) 2424 days ago
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