Sky High Views to Secret Speakeasies: New Bars | January 2020

Presenting 6 brand new bars that are worth spending your summer time investigating. Want more to explore? Here’s the latest on what other good things are happening around town in January 2020.


The Altus Rooftop brings sky-high luxury to the east. The focus is on Champagne; their version of happy hour is ‘Clicquot Hour’…which runs for a languid 5 hours no less. There are cocktails to go with the bar’s sprawling suburban views across to the city-scape too. The signature drink is inspired by the fashion of Christian Dior. Recline on the sun-drenched poolside terrace or enjoy a rosé-fulled high tea in mid-century modern-esque surrounds. And, as a bonus designated driver’s dream, there are lush hotel rooms just downstairs; the minibars stocked with Everleigh Bottling Co. goodies for your essential nightcap.

Level 12, Hotel Chadstone, 1341 Dandenong Road, Malvern East


Runnin’ on Empty

Sometimes an evening calls upon you to simply sit down, listen to rock ‘n’ roll and shove tasty things into your gob. Runnin’ on Empty lets you do just that, with their menu of juicy, customisable hot wings, local craft beers and dive bar cocktails (coming real soon; it’s run by the same crew as The Rum Diary Bar so you know they can mix a mean drink). They play a game of “Bingo Wings” here every hour from 7pm. Every order in the previous hour could score you free drinkables at Rum Diary just a few doors down. So go let your hair down, drink some Dead Man’s Fingers spiced rum and binge on a side of zesty buffalo wings…or jalapeno poppers…or mac’n’cheese donuts.

320 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Riviera Rooftop

The trickiest thing about this idyllic pop-up bar at Captain Baxter is choosing where to sit. Recline in a deck chair or cosy up cabana for two? Not that it really matters when you’re overlooking blue waves as far as the eye can see. In keeping with the French theme, cocktails starring Grey Goose are on the menu (try your next espresso martini with an orange vodka twist – magnifique!) Go visit this nautically-styled space soon – it’s only open for summer until March 9.

10-18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda


Hidden behind these hedges is Speakeasy at The Barre. Actually, there are two garden bars to find: the beer-focused ‘Drifter’ and the cocktail-centric ‘Dragonfly’. Inspired by Chicago the musical, there are drinks inspired by characters as well as the jazz and prohibition eras. Menus are even concealed in books and beer is served in tea kettles to fool those pesky authorities. Yep, the soundtrack here is naturally vintage jazz. The Speakeasy is sneakily open now through Summer only, in the grounds of the Arts Centre Melbourne.

100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Beyond the Palms

Are we in Miami? The Caribbean? It’s actually the backstreets of Chapel, transformed into a taste of the Tropics. Beyond the Palms, from the minds behind nearby Galah, is bringing a dose of sunshine (fingers crossed), neon-accents, candy-colours and swaying palms to the surrounds of a formerly underutilised lot. They take their pina coladas laden with smoky mezcal and their margaritas spiked with spicy jalapenos here. All the better with which to wash down their vibrant Caribbean menu. 

33 Clifton Street, Prahran

Flour Child

Like Runnin’ On Empty above, this new southside haunt pairs cocktails with one hero dish. This time ’round it’s pizza made in the “pinsa Romana” style, the dough proved for 48 hours. But the extensive drinks list is given equal attention. There are lashings of wine to choose from – go on, split another bottle – and cocktails that often lean towards Mediterranean flavours with the inclusion of aromatics like Italicus, Pampelle and limoncello. Be brave and order the Fire Garden (Dom Benedictine, Fireball, lime, chilli) first. 

Level 1, 77 Acland Street, St Kilda

Know about a Melbourne bar opening soon? Let us know now, so we can spread the word:


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