Explore Melbourne’s Historic Lanes and Bars

Melbourne is a very historic city as far as history goes for cities in Australia. Thankfully it’s history is actually celebrated and much of the fabulous architecture that made Melbourne a capital city has been retained. A walk around Melbourne can be a great day out for people who love cities and old buildings.  Because of this old architectural way of creating space and dealing with what was required, Melbourne has some elegantly planted wide streets and fantastic lane ways shadowed by marvellous warehouses. It is in these great hidden lanes that Melbournians and visitors alike can explore and find some great cafes and bars.

Hardware Lane

Starting at the bottom of Hardware Lane, by McDonalds and the car park you will find the excellent Campari. This is a great venue with a nice cafe style restaurant on the ground level, a venue-cum-function room in the middle and a superb rooftop bar nestled in between the high rise offices of the CBD. This is one of the bars I head to when heading into Melbourne CBD as it offers so much variety and I must confess to have a a liking for roof top bars!

 

A little further up the lane over Little Bourke Street, you’ll be immersed in restaurants and spruickers plying for trade. Technically this “spruicking” is illegal under the Melbourne by-laws, but this makes it less intense and a more friendly approach to tempt you to one of their tables. It is what makes Melbourne a great city in which to eat. Generations of migrant families have worked these streets and this is how they have always worked. Think of it more as a tradition (and one that is fiercely protected up in Lygon Sreet). For those looking for a quieter, more intimate drinking experience, there are two bars located in the restaurants.  Amigos downstairs is very intimate and has that club feel to it. Next door you will find Charleys, a first floor level bar and again a nice intimate bar. Both these places are great for a romantic date or a quieter evening.

 

For those looking for something that little more noisy, at the end of Hardware Lane is the  Golden Monkey. A subterranean bar with some great sounds to help you party the night away.

 

 

Further along, once you cross over Lonsdale Street, you’ll come across Pug Mohones, a great Irish pub hidden from passer by on the busy Melbourne Streets. This is a nice place to hang with a pint of the famous black stuff. Located in an old warehouse, this pub gives you a bit of a feel for old Melbourne.

 

As always, the best way to find all these great bars is to download Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars.

1000 pond bend

Check out the delights behind the steel doors

One of my much-loved hang outs when in Melbourne is Thousand Pound Bend, at 361 Little Lonsdale Street. I used to think it was 1000 Pound Blend, as they are a café by day and cool bar at night. But Jonno corrected me – it is Bend, not Blend. Apart from the free wifi in Melbourne CBD, the large open spaces and cool music this café turned bar has a good vibe about it. Excellent coffee by day and a hip crowd adorning the bar at night.

 

Thousand Pound Bend is one of our favourite CBD bars in our Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app, download it now. And, judging by the number of people marking it as “I like this venue” we are not the only Melbourne pub and bar goers who gravitate to it.

 

Close to Melbourne Central, this Melbourne café/bar is an old warehouse – hence the main area having a lot of room. Walk through the main area and you walk into a vast, open warehouse space. In here I have seen art exhibitions, break dancing competitions and even some comedy as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Versatile little bar indeed.

 

interior of 1000 pound bend

Great coffee, breakfast and beer in the arvo!

Chairs and tables are old school – some literally looking like they are from a country school house! You could easily walk past this Melbourne bar. While it is not tucked away on an old cobbled backstreet, the façade is very much warehouse in an industrial part of Melbourne CBD. Even with the limited breakfast menu we have found the fodder for brekkie or brunch not too bad for a CBD café.

 

The only downside is the smoker’s room which looks out onto Little Lonsdale Street often does not have the door to the main café/bar area properly closed, so smokes drifts in and can damage your experience. Nothing a door spring wouldn’t fix!

 

If you are looking for a cool Melbourne bar to park yourself for a few hours with a laptop on your own (the free wifi has worked pretty well the 4-5 times I have tried it), or are in with the current Melbourne youth scene, the Thousand Pound Bend bar is for you.  If you are on your own and want to do some work, and are sensitive to a bit of noise, be sure to pack your headphones as they can crank up the tunes – especially late afternoon as the coffee drinkers slowly get replaced by seasoned Melbourne bar drinkers.

 

little lonsdale st Melbourne

A friendly request!

Easily find this and other great bars in our Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app.

 

Best Cocktails in melbourneLike most blokes I am a bit of a beer drinker. On a warm afternoon after a hard days graft a cool beer always goes down a treat and manages to hit that spot that neither wine or spirits can quench. But that is not to say that I will only drink beer. I like wine and every now and again I am quite partial to a cocktail.

 

Who is making the best cocktails in Melbourne?

Cocktails are often considered as an older persons drink or only drunk on a 1930s theme night, but this image is changing. No longer is the cocktail the domain of the exclusive hotel bar, where waiters sneer at your average shoes and jeans are just not allowed. All over Melbourne bars are offering more than just bottled beers and spirits with a splash of bar mixer softies. No, the cocktail has come of age and there are some serious purveyors of mixed spirits.

Bar Americano – Melbourne’s best cocktail bar?

During my travels researching Melbourne’s 250 odd pubs and bars for the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars iPhone app, I wandered in to Bar Americano. Well, truth be told it was a hard hunt to find this rather wonderful little bar hidden down an alley, away from general view. Upon my arrival the bartender was busy mixing up cocktails for clients perched on the stools at the bar. I watched in awe as his passion for making cocktails became evident with the care and expertise he showed. A twist of orange peel over the glass to give that hint of aroma completed his amazing creation.

Amazing cocktails made with passion

Bar Americano

Cocktails with passion - A Melbourne experience

Amid oowhhs and ahhs from the receivers of those wonderful concoctions, I started to chat with the bartender. But he was distracted in a bit of a concerned way. Begging my pardon he asked his customer if he liked the cocktail, to which the man replied that “it was not what I was after”. The bartender offered to replace the drink, to the reluctance of the customer.

“I want you to be happy with your drink” came the barman’s reply.

After a few minutes of asking what the man liked and disliked, the bartender got to work and in no time another creation was placed in front of the customer. Once his customer was happy, he returned to me for a chat. I was astounded; service like that so rarely happens and was enjoyable to watch. It is this passion that makes Bar Americano that something special. It is an intimate and friendly place with excellent customer service. It is a truly special place and worth seeing out when in Melbourne.

And yes, it will be a lot easier to find using the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars iPhone app - along with the dozens of other bars that focus or specialise on cocktails.

Down a street heading to Southern Cross, you are unlikely to just walk past Bar Biero.  This is a great little bar tucked away down Little Lonsdale Street to the west side of the CBD. If you are looking for things to do in Melbourne, a visit to Bar Biero is a must for beer lovers.

 

Bar Biero Melbourne's best pubs and bars

Great Beer and Character

Bar Biero – or Deja-vu?

 

Last time we visited the manager told us that they may be changing their name to Deja-vu, but not sure if they have done this yet.  But if it has changed that explains why you feel you have been here before!!  When we visited there was a great selection of beer with pale ales even from as far as Scotland!  It’s cute inside and decorated in a trendy way, but not over the top.

 

Find them in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app

 

Bar Biero interior Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars

250 Bottled Beers and 12 pumps Mmmmmnnnnn

The bar feels like a turn of the century school hall, with exposed brick and whitewashed wood ceiling. It has an historic feel to it, but we don’t know the history of the building.  Friendly staff and cool urban vibes. We really hope that the 250 bottles of beer and 12 pumps with a choice of 50 kegs are still there –  this is beer heaven.

Address: 525 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9600 0940

Web: www.bierobar.com.au