Melbourne Nightlife Blog

09 November, 2009

Party & Birthday Venues. Sorted.

myBirthdayVenue.comWe're quite happy to announce we've launched a new website to compliment Melbourne Nightlife - It's a directory listing over a hundred Melbourne function rooms, spaces and venues wanting you to share a good time with your mates - family and friends - and party away! It's got a huge variety of venues listed - bars and pubs - from all over the CBD, city surrounds, inner city haunts and even a few a bit further out.

myBirthdayVenue also allows you to filter through the listings based on your requirements - so if you know how many guests you're planning on having and/or have a budget in mind, it can make it easier to get you to the venues that would be best suited for your celebration. Once you've got a shortlist of potential places you can contact the event managers directly via the website. We like to think of as the easiest way to find your next birthday venue.

We've also added some articles to help with birthday planning, speech writing and even fundraising at bars - and possibly the best news of all is that it's absolutely free to use. It's not high pressure either, you can choose to contact the venue mangers at any stage - but many common questions (from Saturday night exclusive pricing to minimum spend to if you can play your iPod or bring a band) have already been answered, so you know straight-up if a venue hosts private functions and is in your price-range or not.

A time-saving tip from us: You don't have to call or travel all over Melbourne to find your perfect b'day venue, after you've got a cut-down list of potential venues you can cut-and-paste your questions to save even more time and simply wait for the event managers to respond directly to your email inbox! Easy!

Oh well, we hope you like myBirthdayVenue! We've certainly put a bit of effort in to trying to make it easier to celebrate your next event. :)

16 November, 2008

Lockout a failure

An independent report commissioned by the Victorian State Government on the effectiveness of the 2am lockout trial found an increase in reported violence and assaults over the three-month trial.

Lockout scrapped. Victorian Premier John Brumby has backed down from continuing the lockout; "We've decided as government we will not be continuing with a permanent lockout." New efforts to curb binge drinking in the CBD include more police, increasing the power of Liquor Licensing Victoria and a "time out" or "sobering up" zone.

More Police on the streets. 50 extra police officers will be on the street patrol during weekends, with 150 extra police officers to be added over Summer. A closed-circuit television (CCTV) van will also be set up and drive around the streets recording street activities in an attempt to make city streets safer.

Increasing the power of Liquor Licensing Victoria. The Director of Liquor Licensing Victoria will gain power to ban individual pubs and clubs from serving alcohol.

Time out zones to be created. Staffed by volunteer groups and offering up water, tea, coffee and the chance to lie down for a few hours.

Source: ABC News, The Age & Herald Sun

10 October, 2008

Saftey Summit Solves Little

We reported almost a month ago on City of Melbourne plans for a Safety Summit to help combat street crime, violence and drunken behaviour. Well, it appears the summit has failed to reach any consensus on how to tackle the issues raised. The ABC summed it up as "summit participants failed to agree on any new measures to reduce violence."

However, several bars have individually stepped up and are voluntarily introducing bans on buying rounds of drinks after 1am. Escobar, Ding Dong Lounge and QBH are trailing the idea of only giving customers one drink at a time after cur-off. Sue McClellan, Director of Liquor Licensing Victoria, said she supports the trial, but won't be forcing other clubs to adopt it.

Source: ABC News 1 & 2

06 October, 2008

New Bar: Yah Yah's

What do Pony and Bar Open have in common? They're owned by the same people as the latest Smith Street arrival - Yah Yah. As Clem Bastow describes in her latest Epicure review, "Yah Yah's is a rock'n'rollin' bar like they used to make: from its ruby-red walls and "beer or beer or hard stuff" drinks menu to its no doubt soon-to-be-sticky carpet and Superman II-esque chandeliers..." Click here to read the full review.

Look out for your drunk friends

I can't say I've ever read the Jamaica Gleaner before, but Angela Philipps seems to have written up a nice article for young women considering another alcohol-fuelled night on the town. So good, I'm going to give you a fairly large chunk of the article here in the hope you you click through to read it in its entirity...

"It's not my intention to tell all you single lasses out there that you must absolutely never drink alcohol, nor do I want to frighten you about what it can make you do if you consume more than you are able to handle. What I really mean to say is that you should be aware of the feelings it can give you. If you're not used to it, then start by sharing the experience with a small collection of close friends.

When you're ready to be on the party scene, make a pact with them all that each of you will be looking out for one another. Try and be the voice of reason for the one who looks as if she might get into a bit of trouble. Alcohol might be blurring her vision, but don't let it blur yours!"

Click here for the complete article

New Review: Bar None

"It's the location, with its connotations that you are participating in something a little shady, that really give Bar None its edge." Michael Harden reviews the hidden bar, Bar None, on the border of Hawthorn East and Camberwell for Epicure. "The adventure of finding such a place in Camberwell is worth the trip alone but it is when you start thumbing through the voluminous drinks list that you realise this is a bar with a serious dedication to good booze." Click here for the full review.

New Review: White Rabbit Record Bar

Larissa Dubecki reviews Kensington's White Rabbit Record Bar where you can shop for vintage vinyl or merely stop by for a few drinks. "This hybrid music store and bar could well leave punters wondering why alcohol isn't served in more record stores about town." Larissa also mentions some of White Rabbit's cocktails, including some of their own infusions, such as coriander vodka in a Mad Hatter or a coriander and wasabi-flavoured Bloody Mary. Click here for the full review.

18 September, 2008

The Saint under scrutiny again

The Saint Hotel on Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda has made International headlines again for getting introuble with liquor regulators over risque promotions. Sue Maclellan, Victoria's liquor licensing director today ordered Saint Hotel licensee Cameron Manning to scrap his "No Undie Sundie" event. The night run by Birdhouse managed to raise criticism after advertising in Beat magazine with the infamous paparazzi photo of Britney Spears getting out of a car without underwear and offering free drinks when women flashed their bra or undies to staff. They also offered a $50 drink card for women hanging their undies on a line above the bar. Combined with drink offers including $9 cocktails and $6 jager bombs, the advertisement and night have raised significant controversy.

Deb Bryant, a Melbourne Centre Against Sexual Assault spokesperson, said the event was no laughing matter. "It is totally irresponsible, using women to promote those sort of views let alone in terms of irresponsible drinking... It's not appropriate, it's sexist and just encourages inappropriate attitudes towards women."

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) also said The Saint was a maverick "sexist" venue and out of step with community standards. Bill Healey, AHA chief executive, said "We are continuing to work hard to ensure that all licensed venues promote responsible consumption of alcohol and we believe this promotion is inconsistent with this objective."

The Saint was also caught up in controversy in June when it employed a dwarf to pour liquor down the throats of patrons, and would risk a fine of $13,000 and its licence if it defied the ban.

Source: NineMSN & BBC News

Government research: Taxes are good

A report on the social harm caused by alcohol, published by the Department of Health & Ageing, has been released and supports increased tax on alcohol. Commissioned by the previous federal government in 2006, the report shows that $15 billion worth of social harm could be significantly reduced with the introduction of higher taxes on alcohol.

"Young people are more influenced by the price of alcohol, so that increasing the tax rate on alcoholic drinks which are specifically targeted at the youth market (for example, alcopops) is likely to be effective," it says. "There would appear to be strong justification for the April 2008 increase in the Australian tax on pre-mixed drinks by 70%."

Costs of alcohol abuse were estimated by comparing current mortality, morbidity, health costs, workplace productivity, crime levels and road crashes to a hypothetical situation with no alcohol abuse. The Age is reporting this contradicts The Lancet medical journal, which last month said the tax hike would do little to stop binge-drinking by young people, as they would simply switch drinks.

Source: The Age

16 September, 2008

Beer-based alcopops avoid alcopop tax

Following the tax increase on alcopops (pre-mixed spirit drinks), there was speculation alcoholic drinks producers and consumers would switch to wine or other alcohol products to reduce the cost of alcohol consumption. It appears that speculation was correct.

Independent Distillers have announced a new drink, Bolt, to be offered in raspberry, passionfruit and blueberry flavours. Bolt is intended to taste like an alcopop drink, yet it will be an estimated $25 a carton cheaper than pre-mixed spirits. This is possible because Bolt is made with alcohol derived from beer, rather than from pure spirit. Beer taste characteristics are stripped out during production. Packaged beer is taxed at $39.40 a litre of pure alcohol while ready-to-drink beverages carry a tax of $66.70 a litre of pure alcohol.

Source: The Age