Beverages Behind the Bookcase: 6 Secret Bars in Melbourne

Confidential Cocktails


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Hidden doors, inconspicuous basements, and rickety staircases all lead to these secret bars dotted around Melbourne. Step inside to discover carefully crafted cocktails mixed with a speakeasy atmosphere. No need for secret passwords to enter these bars, just a pair of keen eyes, a sense of adventure, and maybe even some dancing shoes.Β 

1. Jungle Boy

Designed to be hidden rather than secret, Jungle Boy can be found through a fridge door in the otherwise unassuming sandwich shop Boston Sub. Paying homage to the speakeasy bars that appeared in America during 1920s prohibition, Jungle Boy offers an escape from Melbourne’s other bustling bars. This leafy venue draws inspiration from The Jungle Book, and provides visitors with a rainforest experience right in the heart of the city. Grab one of their signature cocktails and kick back under the gaze of the bar’s resident (stuffed) baboon.
Jungle Boy/ Boston Sub
96 Chapel St, Windsor, 3181 VIC
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Image Credit: @jungleboybar

the bar at jungle boy

2. Beneath Driver Lane

Modelled on the blues bars of New Orleans and Paris, Beneath Driver Lane offers carefully crafted cocktails with a side order of atmosphere. Located in what was once a subterranean bank vault beneath the old Money Order Office at the end of an alleyway, this bar is a real experience to enter. The vault’s thick walls make Beneath Driver Lane almost soundproof, so it’s no wonder they’re famed for their late night live music performances.
Beneath Driver Lane
2/12 Driver Lane, 3000 VIC
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Image Credit: @beneathdriverlane

interior of Beneath Driver Lane

Β 3. Loch & Key

The building currently occupied by the bar Captain Melville is Melbourne’s oldest pub, first established in 1853. However, stepping through a bookcase and climbing a rickety flight of stairs will bring you to Loch & Key, a bar that recognises the heritage of its surroundings. Expert bar staff can rustle up a drink to suit any craving, while seasonal specials provide the perfect accompaniment to a Melbourne evening on the balcony. Stick around for some late-night electronica fuelled revels.
Loch & Key
34 Franklin Street, 3000 VIC
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Image Credit: @lochkey34

the bar of Lock and Key

4. Bar MargauxΒ 

Open into the wee hours, Bar Margaux offers comforting French bistro classics alongside an impressive drinks list. Candlelight, plushy burgundy booths and continental chic make Bar Margaux Melbourne’s prime location for a midnight snack. It’s tucked away underground beneath the brasserie of Bar Margaux, so while not exactly hidden it’s certainly got that exclusive feel.
Bar Margaux
111 Lonsdale Street, 3000 VIC
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Image Credit: @barmargauxmelbourne

illuminates shelves in bar Margaux

Β 5. Eau de Vie

Step back in time with Eau de Vie, a 1920s speakeasy known for its incredible range of spirits and penchant for liquid nitrogen. If that’s not enough, then hidden behind a bookcase is the Whisky Room, home to the bar’s large collection of rare whiskies available for sampling. For those looking for a little something extra Eau de Vie offers a five-course degustation dinner, which mixes exquisite food and drink with theatre. Whether it’s foodie treats or a secluded booth you’re looking for, Eau de Vie is the place to be.
Eau de Vie
1 Malthouse Lane, 3000 VIC
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Image Credit: @edvmelbourne

Whiskey room in Eau de Vie

6. Bar 1806

Mixing classic cocktails with theatre and history, Bar 1806 sits in a building once occupied by a theatre. The stage is now the bar, while the viewing mezzanine offers a birds-eye view of proceedings. In 1806 the word β€˜cocktail’ was first defined in print, and Bar 1806 offers a drink for every subsequent decade. Each cocktail comes with a mini history lesson about its origins and development, while original mixes are also on offer. Step behind the single illuminated doorway among Exhibition Street’s theatres to find this hidden gem.
Bar 1806
169 Exhibition Street, 3000 VI
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Image Credit: @bar1806

Interior of the bar 1806


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