Sometimes, you just feel like grabbing a couple of long necks in brown paper bags on the way home from work, and other times – you want to suit up, puff on a cigar, sipping whiskey and feel like you’re a sophisticated member of society (Or Harvey from Suits). Either way, a famous man once said ‘I love Scotch. Scotchy Scotch Scotch. Here it goes down. Down into my belly. Mmm, mmm, mmm.’ If you feel the same, here are 10 cool places to check out on Chapel Street.
The Woods Of Windsor
Drinking here is like drinking in the middle of a movie set, and what better way to feel famous than suiting up with a whiskey and a cigar? You’ll be wondering where the Clapper Board is in no time, waiting for someone to yell action (which hopefully you’ll get if you’re lucky…) There’s more than half a century’s worth of whiskey here, and the team behind the bar are more than happy to help out, slightly more effective than the point and hope technique. They’ll also find something from the menu to pair it with, making you more than happy to forego the ‘eating is cheating’ rule.
108 Chapel Street, Windsor
Rocs Jam Factory
Before heading in to watch actual famous people at Village Jam Factory, swing past Roc’s for a pre movie tipple. Swish surroundings, including a piano, 70’s style decor and suited up bartenders make you feel like you’re drinking in a movie scene. Grab yourself a booth and delve into a Whiskey ‘Experience’, where staff will guide you around the world of Whiskey, showing you styles certain countries are famous for, which obviously will leave you an instant Whiskey expert.
500 Chapel St, South Yarra
Not only an institution amongst the vast sea of bars on Chapel, but I’d go as far to say in the whole of Melbourne. A gem hidden within the Windsor section away from the main drag, there’s a rock n roll vibe to this joint. It’s perfect if you’re keen for a low lounge, or a seat at the classically cool bar. If you’re keen to light up a cigar (which the darkened New Yorkesque atmosphere will inspire) – you can head upstairs to the Open Air Deck Bar for that ego heightening puff as you sip on a Whiskey Sour.
17 Chapel St, Windsor
Less Than Zero
The first thing you notice as you walk in is the wall of whiskey behind the bar that resembles nothing less than a glorious smokey tidal wave of happiness. The guys responsible are absolute connoisseurs, so you know it’s good. Their specialty is Japanese whiskey (Australia’s largest range), and the Japanese make a damn fine whiskey, let me tell you. Once you’ve finally made your choice, grab yourself a pool cue, head over to a pool table and wait for the party in your mouth fried chicken to head your way… We recommend the ribs.
153 Commercial Rd, South Yarra
Leonards House of Love
Look, I love (the idea of) skiing as much as anyone (actually just the sitting by the fire drinking whiskey bit) – but how far is Mt Buller? (Hopefully, you said far). Enter Leonards House Of Love – a 70’s inspired Alpine Ski Lodge that makes you feel like you’re actually in Dumb and Dumber… G’day mate! I swear, you almost grow a sweet porn ‘stache and chops the second you step in. Their range of quality Whiskey is surprisingly extensive – so grab one, get around some of the best fried chicken in the country, all without having to freeze the second you walk outside. Actually, it IS Melbourne.
3 Wilson St, South Yarra
Ever wanted to know what it was like in 1920’s New York? Throw on your finest three piece suit, dust off your suspenders, step into Rufus – or what feels like the set of The Great Gatsby, old sport. Named after Winston Churchill’s poodle, a mix of regal chandeliers and oversized mirrors on the wall, not to mention some of the most amazing whiskeys (laid out in crystal decanters) will transport you back to a time where you’ll actually be nervous those damn prohibition laws are still in effect.
143 Greville St, Prahran
The Silverlake Social
One thing American dive bars are famous for, it’s their Whiskey – and The Silverlake Social ticks both those boxes. Perfect to get your American sports fix, with TV screens littered all over the place showing everything from NBA and NFL to Poker, all while you chow down on peanuts and hot wings drowned in Ranch. There’s an impressive array of whiskey to choose from, and despite every bone in my body being reluctant to try their ‘Post Mix Old Fashioned’ (yeah just like the post mix coke) – surprisingly it actually was pretty damn good. Although, in fairness, I was about 7 drinks deep at that point…
198 Chapel St, Prahran
Don’t feel bad if you’ve never been or even heard of Katuk. The entrance is a narrow stairwell, nestled in between a bunch of clothes stores, and I guarantee you’ve walked past without realising. Once you walk up a flight of stairs and enter, you’re greeted by many leather bound books (and yes it does smell of rich mahogany). Scotch lovers rejoice, you’ll find some of the rarest around, poured by Melbournes best bartenders and with drink in hand, you could grab a seat on one of the many leather couches – but why would you, when you could get all up in a cubby or day bed? Handy for a cheeky little nap when it all gets a bit much. Hey, it’s hard work being classy.
517 Chapel St, South Yarra
Imagine sitting in your lounge room, all nice and cosy, but instead of a dirty bottle of Ballantines (the Tooheys New of Whiskey), you have a collection of the worlds finest on hand. That’s what it’s like when you step into Jane Doe. Retro, funky and vintage describes this place perfectly – with a sweet relaxed vibe, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a chilled night, but still want to get out of the house. The 5 hour Happy ‘Hour’ doesn’t hurt either… Until the next day.
219 Chapel St, Prahran