1 October 2012
Hide and Seek in Melbourne
A night in Melbourne’s bar and club scene can leave you feeling like you’ve entered a game of hide and seek rather than a night on the town at times, but stick with it, we promise it’s worth it. Here at PINCH we’ve decided it’s about time we let you in on our favourite finds. Be sure to pack a compass and clear your diary the next day.
The Croft Institute
Hidden in croft alley behind Chinatown part of the experience of this Melbourne institute is the journey there. A series of alleyways wind you through a passage filled with psychedelic street art that leads you to the Croft Institutes entrance.
Once you’re in there are three levels to explore, on the ground level is a laboratory themed bar where bar staff are waiting ready to fix you up a concoction of their famously strong drinks (beware of the long island). The top floor is decked out as a 1930s gymnasium complete with a grassy lawn bar and between the two floors you will find the bathroom waiting area housing the ‘department of hygiene’. If you have never been the Croft Institute is a must, we recommend a weekend visit when the old gymnasium plays host to a range of local DJs.
On the topic of the fall of the Berlin Wall most would agree with the consensus that its collapse was a good thing. One sharp dressing Frenchman however has other ideas opting instead to recreate the Iron Curtain in a downtown Melbourne bar. That’s right – party like it’s 1989, a phrase we never thought we’d say.
The bar is divided by its own Checkpoint Charlie into East and West, so pick your side and choose whether to spend the night in decadence or decay, glamour or functionality, fine décor or graffiti, chandeliers or bare bulbs. If you realise you’ve made a fatal error in your choice however then drink up and attempt your escape across the border.
Now we found this one when asking other travellers on the metro for a good night out, their response; “Go to Elizabeth St, turn down the alleyway after Maccy D’s, turn right after the dumpster, go in the back door and downstairs to the basement and you in.” Cryptic and local clues like this are always worth it. Once you’re there you will know it, the deep bass pulsates through your body, and that’s not us trying to romanticise it – your body genuinely vibrates the whole time you’re down there.
This night only runs once a month so everyone’s sure to be letting loose dancing to the early hours to get their monthly fix. A fairly intimate venue with comfy sofa’s, space to chill out and a monster sound system make this yet another Melbourne must go for you night owls.
Finally one that’s a little easier to get to, Lucky Coq can be found on the corner of Chapel St and High Street, the entire building’s painted bright red so difficult to miss. Its eclectic décor makes you feel like you’re in a friend’s living room and the comfy sofas both inside and outside on the terrace serve as the perfect place to relax.
As for the music, Lucky Coq describe their music playlist as a mix of; Post Alpine Crypt-Hop, Geodesic Disco, Melbourne City Bass, Modem Bass, Troppy Jazz, Blipno, Jungle Bounce, Pre-Human House, Doublestep Ghetto, Space Invador Jazz, Infinity Funk and Windows 95 themes. We think that sums it up. Lucky Coq don’t take themselves too seriously and know what punters are looking for; booze food and a comfy place to chill. You’re sure to be well looked after here.
Another lounge-come-bar can be found in St. Kilda’s 29th Apartment. The apartment pays homage to Katishe, a prostitute artist who went missing in the 1980s, and is a gallery/lounge all wrapped up in one. The bar is decked out as a full apartment leaving you free to sip your cocktails in the bath, kitchen or bedroom. And if you get a little peckish 29th apartment won’t leave you going hungry, their list of relatively cheap food and drinks has something for you to snack on till the early hours.
29th Apartment has everything you could possibly need from a bar, there’s even the option to revamp your outfit half way through the night in the lounge clothes swap while the DJ keeps you entertained from the decks in the bathtub.