Nothing beats that Friday feeling. As soon as the clock strikes five you can forget about the week that was and indulge in the weekend to come. Get it started on the right foot with a wind-down drink at one of these Melbourne CBD bars. They’re perfect for a few after-hours bevs with colleagues and friends.
1. Arbory Bar & Eatery
📍 Flinders Walk
Wedged between two Melbourne icons is a bar with both character and class. Arbory Bar & Eatery borders both Flinders St station and the scenic Yarra river with great views across to Southbank. It’s bigger than it looks too; as a converted train platform what it lacks in width it makes up for in length. This Spring/Summer sees the return of the highly popular Arbory Afloat so you can impress those out-of-towners with a drink on the actual Yarra. Variety is the aim of their game with cocktails, wines and beers galore and a bar menu that’s served until the wee hours.
The thing about Melbourne’s CBD is the most obvious locations aren’t always the best. Hidden lanes, tucked away eateries and out of sight bars are where it’s really at. Enter Whitehart; the shipping container bar that was built at the end of a lane where once was merely a carpark. They’re serving up sweet drinks and mouth-watering pizzas from +39 Pizzeria. Who would have thought a dead end could be so cool?
While we’re on the topic of non-obvious locations; have you tried a rooftop bar? They’re typically small and intimate but what they lack in size they’ll make up for in atmosphere, so long as you’re not afraid of heights. Two of the best out there are just next door to each other on Bourke Street. Good Heavens pulls together neon and natural decor in a way you wouldn’t think possible. They’re mostly about the drinks with an impressive cocktail list and a selection of Australian wines and craft beers that’ll bring out everyone’s fun side after work. Then there’s Madame Brussels; the alcoholic tea party you didn’t know you’d been searching for. With its white picket fences, garden glamour and cheeky backstory it’s the ultimate setting for ladies’ night outside the office. Both are just a hop and a skip from Chinatown too where you can find a post-drinking feast.
Some weeks you just want to let go and forget. What better place than a fairytale themed bar where you can fall down the rabbit hole and into a world of pure imagination. Try a Polyjuice cocktail a la Harry Potter or drink like you’ve been invited to one of Gatsby’s notorious soirees. The décor at StoryVille is just as magical with mushrooms, books and writing on the walls.
Ferrero Rocher Espresso Martinis. The end. Seriously though, this bar, diner and beer garden has all the elements for a super Friday night. It’s usually full to the brim with after work revellers so get in early for a good spot. There isn’t much to distinguish it from the other buildings nearby but you can keep an eye out for the red and white striped umbrellas.
If you’re a cocktail connoisseur then you should have heard of 1806. Its menu pays homage to all the most loved mixed drinks; from the ones that are still popular today to the ones no-one has served in years. Don’t worry, there’s also plenty of beers and wine on offer if you prefer a simpler drink. It’s fair to say this is a high-class, old-school drinking experience.
Forget about the stresses of your week and get to know the office crew outside those four walls at a fun and trendy city hideaway.
Julia is a freelance writer from Melbourne specialising in content marketing and lifestyle articles. She’s usually busy planning new travel adventures or writing on past ones. If she could bring any two things to a deserted island they’d be a plane and a pilot. Check out more articles for a sense of her style or get in touch to collaborate.