Melbourne Nightlife Blog

22 June, 2008

The 2am Lockout Exemption List

As part of the rules of the recent exemptions to the 2am lockout, venue owners are not allowed to advertise the fact they are allowed to let patrons in after 2am. They cannot, however, stop people from creating a list of venues that are letting people in - and this is exactly what is occuring on Facebook. Matthew Freedman has created the Facebook group "The list of pubs, bars and clubs exempt from the 2am lockout", which is actively investigating which venues are open after hours.

They currently list 81 exemptions:

3D Nightclub -
A Bar called Barry (Only Exempt Saturdays) -
Alumbra -
Amber Lounge -
Bar 20 -
Baroq -
Base Backpackers -
Billboards -
Blue Bar -
Borsch, Vodka & Tears -
Boutique -
Bubble -
Builders Arms Hotel - 211 Gertrude St
Candy Bar -
Centrefold Lounge -
Charlie's Bar -
Charltons -
Chasers -
Cherry Bar - (Currently closed from a massive fire)
Circus Bar - 199 Commercial Rd, South Yarra
Court Jester Hotel -
Cushion Lounge -
Ding Dong Lounge -
DV8 -
Electric Ladyland -
Escobar -
European bier café -
First Floor -
Ginger Cocktail Bar -
Goldfingers -
Hyde Bar -
Icon Bar -
Inflation -
Kittens -
Korova Milk Bar -
La La Land -
Lounge -
Love Machine -
Marquee -
Melbourne Supper Club - 161 Spring Street
Mink -
Mothers Milk -
Negroni Bar & Grill - 477 Collins St
Onesixone -
Phoenix Bar -
Pony -
Prince of Wales + Bandroom -
Pugg Mahones -
Q Bar -
Red Violin -
Retro -
Revolver -
Robarta -
Roxanne Parlour -
Seven -
Shamiana -
Shindig -
Silk Road -
Spearmint Rhino -
Tankerville - 230 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy
The Carlton Hotel -
The Croft Institute -
The George Bar - 127 Fitzroy st
The Gin Palace - 190 Little Collins Street
The Loft -
The Long Room -
The Market -
The Mens Gallery -
The Peel -
The Saint Hotel -
The Social Bar -
The Toff -
The Tunnel - 590 Little Bourke St
Third Class -
Tramp -
Two Floors Up -
Valve -
Viper Room -
Wah Wah Lounge -
Welcome Stranger - 128 Bourke Street
Xchange -

Turbulence ahead for drunk pilots

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is close to signing a $9 million testing agreement with Symbian Health according to The Age. The agreement is for random drug and alcohol tests for aviation workers throughout Australia. Workers caught with a blood-alcohol content of .02 or more, or who test positive to illicit drugs (cocaine, cannabis and opioids) face fines up to $5500 and could be fired.

Source: The Age

Our Booze Blues: Why do we drink?

A brilliant essay in Scotland's Sunday Herald addresses many concerns currently faced by Melbourne. James Alexander asks in his well-crafted piece "I suppose we need to ask ourselves if we want to be a nation that can't control our drinking. Are we proud of that?". It closes with a Scottish teenager, Douglas Dickson, saying "The only way to stop people drinking is making them not want to drink." Sage advice indeed.

Source: Sunday Herald

New Bar: Atticus Finch

East Brunswick's Lygon Street is quickly becoming a bit of a destination. With another new bar in Atticus Finch. Deck of Secrets says "with its semi retro feel and eclectic assortment of knic knacs, Atticus Finch retains a sense of understated elegance and graceful appeal". Click here to read the full update.

New Bar: Rusk

Caulfield South has a new bar, Rusk. "With soothing autumnal hues, white marble bar and bamboo feature wall, the compact front bar section is ideal for cosy drinks or nibbling traditional South African delights like the Biltong & Wors - a traditional South African dried coriander spiced beef and sausage selection." Click here to read more.

New Review: The Gem

Michael Harden would like to take you to Collingwood for a traditional inner north pub experience at The Gem. "The Gem used to be called Curry's Family Hotel and despite the framed Elvis portraits, the tattooed bartenders and a crowd that leans towards chunky boots and skinny jeans, the welcoming, unpretentious vibe suggested by the former name still holds sway." Click here to read the full Epicure review.

Freshly revamped: The Undertaker

Hawthorn's Undertaker has been renovated according to Deck of Secrets, and it sounds like there has been quite a change. "A classy refurb at this local watering hole has seen the relocation of the Dining Room upstairs, making way for an urbane new ground floor beer and wine bar lauded as ‘The Social.’" Click here to read about the updates and gawk at the photos.

New Review: The Vic

Abbotsford's The Vic is the most recent bar to be reviewed by Clem Bastow for Epicure. In summary; "Whether you're en route to dinner or escaping the Ikea mega-store, The Vic is an ideal stopover." Click here to read more about this friendly bar.

17 June, 2008

TheHappiestHour party Cancelled

The number one website for finding happy hours in Melbourne, TheHappiestHour, has had its official relaunch party cancelled. According to their blog post, "the venue owner received a letter from the powers that be today stating that by hosting the party, it could be in violation of some Responsible Drinking Laws". Is this a direct attack on Melbourne's number one happy hour website? Feel free to read all the speculation you can handle in the comments section of their blog.

10 June, 2008

New Bar: Radio

It doesn't seem that long ago that Gertrude Street was known for alcoholics, now it's a little hipper the old pubs are being renovated and new ones are popping up too. Radio is a cafe during the day, but after 5pm it becomes a late night attraction too. According to Deck of Secrets, "the raw, earthy decor is as understated as the outside except for an attention grabbing city-scape panorama plastered across the wall." Click here to read their impression.

New Review: Don't Tell Tom

"Tom is one of those institutions that is one man's breakfast joint to another man's late-night (ish) watering hole." Clem Bastow reviews this slightly-quieter Brunswick bar Don't Tell Tom for Epicure - click here to read her evaluation.

New Bar: White Rabbit Record Bar

Deck of Secrets have stumbled upon a new Kensington bar with a colourful retro-inspired decor that serves not only serves drinks, but records and CDs too. "Don't come expecting to find a psychedelic disco - this more your laidback local lair than hot and happening house-party." Click here to read their account.

New Review: Le Bar

Michael Harden visits Le Bar in Crown Casino with the conclusion "Le Bar is a sexily gloomy, dark-hued, ultra-luxurious boozer that is worlds away from the sound and fury of the casino proper." Click here to read the full review.

06 June, 2008

Fire near Cherry Bar

Cherry Bar has suffered water, heat and smoke damage during a fire at the nearby offices of Fifteen Restaurant and the Fifteen Foundation. Cherry Bar's owner, James Young, says tomorrow's gig featuring The Living End will go ahead despite the blaze and damage.

Source: Herald Sun & The Age

05 June, 2008

Nixon upset over lockout exemptions

Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has expressed her own concerns over the future of Melbourne's lockout after 112 late-night venues have been exempted from the plan to ban patrons from city nightclubs after 2am.

"These people who own these premises, I wish they hadn't have gone for these exemptions, I think that we should have given it a decent trial... We still have the trial and three quarters (of venues) will still be part of this, but I think they should have had more responsibility." Commissioner Nixon told Fairfax Radio.

Source: The Age 1 & 2

New Review: Siglo

Another rooftop bar? Well, why not... "Ascend the stairs of this city institution, the Melbourne Supper Club, and you’ll find this Italian style rooftop watering hole." Click here to read what Deck of Secrets had to say. You can also find our link to the Epicure review here.

New Review: Sentido Funf

Sentido Funf, once called Yelza, on the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy, has been delighting patrons for some time now. Clem Bastow sums it up for Epicure with "Sentido Funf will please those looking for a corner to sink into as much as it will those with partying on the agenda." Click here to read the full review.

More than 100 exemptions and counting...

Following on from the May 30 victory, 117 clubs have applied to have an exemption from the "2am lockout" with 112 successful according to the Herald Sun. The Australia highlights this means one in five venues originally targeted are free to let people in after 2am.

Source: Herald Sun & The Australian.

Melbourne protest a "success"

Organisers for the protest against Melbourne's radical drinking laws have marked the movement a success. An estimated three to five thousand protesters marched to the steps of Parliament house on May 30, venting their anger against a 2am curfew.

Organisers have said they intend to keep up the fight. The crowd cheered when told by Brian Frewin from the Association of Liquor Licensees of Melbourne that a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) decision means 50 venues are exempt from the ban, with further exemptions expected to take place in the coming days.

Source: ABC & The Age. Photo courtesy of Sarah Jackson.