Melbourne’s street scape can be a crowded place, so what better way to escape the hustle and bustle than venturing down the stairs for a warming negroni at one of the city’s many underground bars.
Harley House is Peruvian-inspired fare with pisco sours that tantalise the tastebuds, while Beneath Driver Lane deliver a menu of more than 650 spirits from distillers across the globe until the early hours every night of the week. Juliet is the sister of Punch Lane, a laneway institution of Melbourne since 1995, while Bodega Underground serves up mezcal and tacos.
In Hardware Lane, Golden Monkey declares itself as 1920’s Shanghai in modern Melbourne, with fine drinks and fun times to be found beyond the velvet curtain entry.
State of Grace leads the way on King Street, with the venue featuring old-world décor alongside a cocktail menu that borders on experimental, while the Moat is nestled beneath the stunning State Library of Victoria in the basement of a 19th century bluestone building.
Back above ground, Horse Bazaar, Ferdydurke, Boney and Fifty-Five deliver live music experiences that stray from the norm.
Horse Bazaar is high-end cocktail bar meets izakaya in Tokyo, with mouth-watering Japanese comfort food served alongside a delectable selection of drinks, live music and mesmerising projections. The monthly immersive music night hosted by the Beat Collective welcomes up and coming producers and bedroom artists as they take to the stage to showcase their talents.
The hip, younger sister of much-loved container bar Section 8, Ferdydurke is accessed via a hole-in-the-wall entrance on Tattersall’s Lane and after conquering the stairs visitors will find a loft-style bar brimming with character. Cosy seating delivers the ideal environment for sipping with that special someone, while their calendar of live music and art sessions ensures plenty to distract should things head south.
The late-night boogie comes to life at Boney, with a mix of bands and DJs taking to the stage upstairs every night of the week. Comedy and trivia nights complement the program for those chasing a more light-hearted night out or watch in awe as Lachlan Mitchell guides an ever-changing line-up of musicians as they play live the chords he’s frantically scrawled on a black board.
Boasting walls decorated by the wares of local artists, Fifty-Five features a variety of live performance that celebrates everything from jazz to hip hop. Local craft beers are the order of the day at the bar, served with free popcorn.
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