nightlife-melbourne

The Nightlife of Melbourne

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    The city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is also the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. 

    More recently, it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music, and theatre. It is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, and hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

    Due to its rating highly in entertainment, tourism, and sport, as well as education, health care, research and development, the EIU currently ranks it the second most liveable city in the world, and it was ranked as the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row, from 2011 until 2017.

    The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport (also referred to as Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and Australia’s busiest seaport, the Port of Melbourne.

    So as briefed above the city of Melbourne offers a comprehensive and great range of Bars, Restaurants, and Nightclubs which has improved the nightlife experiences for their locals as well as foreigners, in context of the same, here in this article we are going to take a deep look into such features of Melbourne which will make your journey excellent.

    Melbourne is a fascinating city filled with great places for various people. The town is bustling and beautiful during the day, however, during the night, it becomes a relaxing, quirky and shining city. No wonder it is often called as the city with the best night skyline in all of Australia. Also, it has plenty of great Bars, Restaurants and Night Clubs where you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and socialise with friendly locals and other tourists, or you can enjoy quality time with your loved one on a beautiful night in Melbourne. While visiting Melbourne, try to get out more at night to experience this wonderful city truly.

    Best Nightclubs in Melbourne

    Sometimes you just need to get loose on the dance floor. So if you're looking for a nightclub in Melbourne where you can dance all night, here are our favourite clubs for electronica, dance, house, trap, disco, hip-hop and everything in between.

    Revolver Upstairs

    Revolver, better known as Revs, will take you in on a Friday evening and treat you to a bit of soul-tinged deep house and then spit you out onto Chapel Street Sunday morning, ears still ringing with throbbing techno. The long-time running Saturday The Late Show has hosted international DJs and producers Pearson Sound, Maurice Fulton, Flava D, Loefah, Pinch, Auntie Flo, along with local with weekly residents.

    You often hear about ‘the cage’, which sounds terrifying, but in reality, it’s a booth that hosts local and international dance DJs in a dining room. This dining room is transformed into a delicious Thai restaurant during the more reasonable hours of the day. But you do question what these are once you're in Revs.

    Revolver has reopened following lockdowns. Opening hours have changed slightly due to current restrictions. Colonel Tan's has reopened with reservations available Thu-Sun. From Friday, December 11, Revolver Upstairs will return to all night trading Fridays and Saturdays. No bookings, meaning you'll just have to rock up and roll the dice from 11 pm each night. Keep in mind restrictions, including density limits, still apply – read more about current hospitality restrictions here.

    Revolver is a sprawlingly decadent venue halfway between scummy and sublime. The bar/club goes all night more or less and is often responsible for the sort of best-forgotten behaviour by morning. A great night out, in other words.

    As well as packing in a Thai restaurant, there's also a dedicated gig floor upstairs that plays host to some of the most raucous bands in town. For a part of the city that's all a bit vacuous and style-centric, Revolver is a breath of super-charged, electric air with mischief that’s more than appealing.

    Angel Music Bar

    Music is front and centre here, with a collection of records pumping out of Funktion One speakers specifically installed to fill the room. DJs play the likes of John Coltrane, Susan Wong, Esther Phillips and Ute Lemper with scatterings of David Bowie downstairs, or you can head upstairs to the 80-room black box venue and party to events put on by Animals Dancing, Crown Ruler, Cool Room and Pelvis. It’s super dark in the room, with a singular light that projects onto a disco ball that casts an eclipse shadow above the DJ booth. And we're not kidding about the speakers – those Funktion Ones really pack a punch.

    Music is front and centre, with a collection of records pumping out of Funktion One speakers specifically installed to fill the room with one of the most enjoyable soundtracks we’ve come across in a bar. We visit on a Tuesday, where it is unofficially Jazz Night, and Angel Music Bar’s definition of jazz is pretty loose. 

    The speakers drip with John Coltrane, Susan Wong, Esther Phillips and Ute Lemper with scatterings of David Bowie and the newly released Tarantino playlist while the laid-back, midriff-baring bartender, who is the very embodiment of contradictory cool, is mixing a Martini while admitting that she is a teetotaller. 

    Gotcha. So how does a Martini by a non-drinker taste? Not wet as requested and a little over diluted, but it does the trick. At $20 a cocktail, it isn’t the worst version of a Martini we have received, so colour us stunned. 

    nightlife-melbourne

    Wines and fortified get a bit more consideration, as Christopoulos compiles them and feature delicious, good-value drops with vague menu descriptions (mainly because the crowd here don’t care, or don’t know to care) where you can score yourself a glass of 2016 Dr Loosen for $16, labelled simply as ‘German Riesling’, or sip on a 2009 Victor Gontier Calvados for $15. For big, flashy spenders (we assume a few at the end of some nights), Champagne houses receive representation on the very concise menu of four bottles, where a 2009 Dom Perignon and NV Krug Grand Cuvee top the list at $370 and $450 respectively. 

    Judging by the more established and well-travelled drinkers in the bar, the presence of big-ticket Champagne in the building isn’t tokenistic, and every day that ends in Y could quickly turn into a party. A crew of design firm executives could burst through the doors and drop their corporate cards. Those teams of beautiful Vivien’s stylists could roll in with their crew for a post-shoot drink. In fact, they just have. 

    Snacks come from Butchers Diner next door, is walked over by the staff and delivered to the bartender before they reach you. If you’ve had a few drinks and can see your jalapeño poppers hanging out for a minute, it might leave you yearning, but put your faith in the seemingly convoluted system – surprisingly, it works. Snacks come in the form of pickles, nuts and olives, but if you need more cushion for your boozin’, we suggest you lean into fried options and accept the offering of seasonings and hot sauces. 

    Fish goujons (that’s fish fingers, to us regular folk) and jalapeño poppers come golden brown and delicious, but they need a heavy hand of salt and a sprinkling of hot sauce to come alive. The prawn cocktail is straight out of the ‘70s, with five fat peeled prawns sitting in a martini glass with thousand island dressing on a bed of iceberg lettuce. Suppose you’re looking for something more substantial. In that case, we strongly advise ordering the six- (yes, six!) point ham and cheese toasted sandwich, which contains a quivering inch of bechamel between heavily buttered bread. We’d say this is a party finisher rather than a party starter. Plan your night wisely.

    Angel Music Bar is the perfect place to go if all the new hip bars make you feel old. Just because you’re not fresh-faced and getting carded all the time, it doesn’t mean you’re not down for a big night with like-minded people who also happen to suffer from back pain. At Angel, it feels like something is simmering below the surface the whole time, mainly because there is. Heck, when we were there, O’Connor was organising a last-minute music party with a duo who just happen to be in from Paris and building a guest list with the crew from Fur. The crew who choose to frequent Angel might not be spring chickens, but they could show the youth today how it is meant to be done. As for Christopoulos, we don’t know how he does it, but he’s on to another hit.

    Glamorama

    A red neon sign in shouty capitals marks the entrance on Brunswick Street. The cleaved head of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman greets you as you walk up the stairs. In the cavernous room above, dismembered mannequins dangle from the ceiling. Glamorama is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them. DJs spinning electronica and a 5 am liquor license on weekends (3 am midweek) ram home the devil-may-care demeanour.

    A red neon sign in shouty capitals marks the entrance on Brunswick Street. The cleaved head of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman greets you as you walk up the stairs. In the cavernous room above, dismembered mannequins dangle from the ceiling. The latest addition to Fitzroy’s late-night scene is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them.

    Glamorama’s owners clearly have a thing for Bret Easton Ellis from the team behind Prahran’s Less Than Zero bar. Exposed brick, lofty ceilings, ruby-hued booths and red lights behind the bar offer a nod to the hedonistic social scene of 1980s New York. DJs spinning electronica and a 5 am liquor license on weekends (3 am midweek) ram home the devil-may-care demeanour.

    Although, a little more care could be taken on the cocktail front. Peppered with infusions and savoury bitters, the menu sounds intriguing, but all too often, what’s delivered is unbalanced and one-dimensional. Of the four cocktails sampled, three were a lurid DayGlo yellow (too much margarita mix, perhaps?). The best of the bunch, the Green Sabre is a super-sour blend of West Winds Gin, Green Chartreuse, lemon and rosemary – the herb acting more as a garnish than a serious flavouring agent.

    Except for that rosemary sprig, it looks identical to the coupe of The Man With The Red Face. Here, the smoky, husky notes of the mezcal dominate – the blood orange liqueur barely making an appearance. And there’s lime, too, enough to have you considering an antacid by the time you reach the end.

    With its fennel-infused marmalade vodka, lime and Campari dust, the Lady Marmalade sounds like a cracker but once again comes as a lime-heavy neon brew, this time tooth-achingly sweet. And that Campari dust? Let’s just call it pink sugar and be done with it.

    But who wants to juggle a martini glass on the d-floor anyway? Instead, skip straight to the impressive selection of whiskies, including a lengthy Australian line-up that spans hyper-local Bakery Hill, Nant, Starward and Sullivan’s Cove.

    The crew have co-opted chef Shaun Hansen, who most recently plied his faux-meat trade at South Yarra’s Sweetwater Inn. On the pun-tasting menu (Chicken Tits anyone?), you’ll find his trademark vegan wings and hotdogs, tempered by meatier mains such as Going the Whole Hock of fried pork hock, crackling and coleslaw, or the Botox Pies, served with syringes of tomato sauce and mustard for intra-pastry injections.

    Where to dance to disco in Melbourne

    The 86

    This cabaret and cocktail bar is home to an array of queer events as well as a disco. Saturday nights at the bar are regularly turned into a boogie wonderland with the party group Piu Disco taking over. The queer disco party focuses on original disco from the mid-70s to mid-80s. Don't come expecting disco cut with house or techno – this is pure and unapologetic old school disco. With free entry before 10 pm, this club night books DJs with eclectic tastes that get everyone moving right from the start.

    Burn City Disco

    Burn City Disco remains dedicated to providing Melbourne with disco beats. From activewear dance sessions that make you "burn, baby, burn", the group is expanding to numerous events held across the city, notably Brown Alley and Bourke Street Courtyard. They know the venue wants disco, the people wish to disco, and they give them, you guessed it, disco. Keep your eyes peeled for events featuring DJs synonymous with disco-inspired music that capture the golden era.

    The Night Cat

    The Night Cat is a Fitzroy institution that is always up for opening the dancefloor to disco. The Cat hosts a variety of disco DJs across multiple events that are always quick to fill up. With the stage being right in the middle of the venue, you can experience the likes of Evelyn Champagne King and Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir from every angle while you dance the night away.

    The vibe is electric in this darkly red-lit boudoir of a band venue, and it's not hard to fathom why. The Night Cat has become a bit of a Fitzroy institution, with live jazz, funk and reggae among its diverse line-up.

    Entry is usually free unless time is money and you can't afford to wait in the queue that snakes down Johnston St. It's worth it once you're inside, though, with a stage slap bang in the centre, so you can see your favourite jazz band from every angle.

    Where to dance to hip-hop in Melbourne

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    Laundry Bar

    You down with OPP? Then Laundry – arguably Melbourne's hottest hip-hop club – is your spiritual home. Hustle your way through the dark den on a Friday or Saturday and get up close to the rap-lovin’ DJs. On Friday nights, they'll be spinning old-school hip-hop and R&B (oh hi, NWA); Saturday is a mixed bag of everything up to Kendrick's latest. 

    Fitzroy’s Laundry Bar is a stalwart of Melbourne’s late nightclub scene. Having seen the death of many of its Johnston Street neighbours, Laundry Bar stands, beer in hand, saluting to the weekend.

    Over two levels, Laundry drops rap and hip hop three nights a week. This crowd loves to get down and dirty on the dancefloor – expect anything from resident DJs to major touring acts to up-an-coming Melbourne artist to be slinging tunes as you slosh your way through the night. It’s more of sneakers and streetwear than a heel and collars kind of place, but then again – anything goes in Fitzroy on a Friday. Celebrating something big? Treat your crew to a VIP booth with bottle service.

    Chaise Lounge

    Classic hip-hop on Fridays and all kinds of R&B on Saturdays: Chaise’s posse of resident DJs throw a healthy mix of trap and twerk into their sets with their Bright Lights Big City set. The room is always pumping, and regulars include DJ Kahlua, C-Ram and Shook.

    Renowned for being one of Melbourne’s top hip hop bars, Chaise Lounge is the place to be to hear everything from classic hip hop, RnB, trap and twerk. Friday’s are the night to get your groove on at Chaise Lounge with DJs from Culture King DJ Rcee, DJ Kahlua, DJ Shook and DJ Angel Jay keeping your feet moving to the early hours of Saturday morning. Bring out the Henny, it’s Friday.

    Section 8

    After squeezing past the huge bouncers to get into the much-hyped Section 8, you'll find one of the CBD’s best spots for people watching. There’s a see-and-be-seen element to any night here. It’s a popular venue for DJs, and you'll fare well if you're a hip hop fan. Fair warning: it's busy - and loud - most nights.

    The bar is in a converted shipping container (as are the toilets, so enter at your own risk), and of course, it’s down an alley. Anything goes here, with a basketball hoop out the front available if you’re inspired to give it a go (just ask George, the bar’s super-friendly bouncer, for the ball) and taps available for DIY water. 

    But this is a bar, and you are obviously not here for the water. There are a few beers on tap and a lot more in bottles and tinnies, with craft brews and sours rotating through the inventory. Most drinkers are here for the beer, though there is a decent selection of liquor behind the bar and a list of a dozen or so seasonal cocktails. Wine is available in sparkling, white, rose, red and goon, which tells you about how seriously this bar takes wine – and itself. 

    That is not to say that bartenders can’t make a delicious cocktail here. The Straw-Back Tom, made with Poor Tom strawberry gin, Chamberyzette strawberry vermouth, lemon, rose lemonade, black pepper and plenty of fresh strawberries, is surprisingly well balanced, with the sweetness of the strawberries enlivened by the acidity of the lemon and slight peppery bite. It’s as refreshing as a dip in a cold pool on a hot day, a fruit-forward cocktail that doesn’t stray into syrupy, Slushie territory. The Machine Gun Megan (Casamigos Reposado tequila, Vida mezcal, spiced syrup, lemon and fresh nutmeg) tastes like the love child of eggnog and a Margarita it’s absolutely delicious. 

    The drinks are only part of what makes Section 8 Melbourne's go-to alleyway party bar. Music is king here, with an exciting rotation of tunes playing during the day and some of Melbourne’s best DJs hosting epic parties until 1 am. Dance parties are frequent – and they are always, always free. We’re pretty glad this pop-up decided to stick around.

    Nightlife Melbourne. ... Melbourne is a fantastic place also with regard to the kitchen, music and art: with a vibrant street art and an active hipster culture, this Australian metropolis has a large selection of great food and beautiful bar. Even the Melbourne nightlife can rival the world's great capitals.

    Melbourne nightlife has a little bit of everything—hidden bars, rowdy pubs, swanky nightclubs, and live music venues. And then, of course, it has your reliable late-night food options and non-drinking activities. As a traveler, navigating the nightlife in a foreign city can be confusing.

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