The Two Review: ‘Melbourne from A to B’ – Rooftop Bars

With the uni semester now behind us (for Ally, unfortunately, not until Monday), and endless summer nights ahead, The Two decided a post on Melbourne rooftop bars would be a fitting way to (sadly) finish their blog with Catalyst. Rated out of the famous Cosmopolitan cocktail, they will both review two common favourites, before sharing their own personal pick.

The Rooftop Bar

Where: Level 7, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street

A: Rooftop Bar is in one of the best locations and buildings in Melbourne’s CBD. In the same building as Cookie and The Toff, this great rooftop bar encompasses the best of Melbourne’s outdoor nightlife. With breathtaking views across the city, it is a great place to hold any event whether it is a birthday, work function, get together with friends, or just a place to fill a few hours. My only criticism is the deathly amount of stairs I have had to tackle upon every visit to this bar. For some reason, the elevator is always out of order when I venture up the marble staircase. They’re also incredibly painful to fall down, which I learned the hard way after a few too many Bacardi and cokes!

The verdict: 3.5/5 Cosmopolitans

Rooftop Bar Ally

B: I don’t know where Melbourne got its love for rooftops from – or who thought getting drunk people to meet on the top of a building was a good idea in the first place – but by golly am I glad they did. Rooftop Bar has become a firm favourite. You can sip on your reasonably priced preferred drink, feeling on top of the world (ok, city), and admire the pretty fairy-light decorated view of Melbourne. It can get very packed though, and if you manage to get a table and enough chairs for your group, congratulations! While there are a lot of stairs, if you manage to climb up them without falling over, reward yourself with an extra large drink. Come summer, there’ll be the rooftop cinema to check out, and a convenient food van for when you need those late night nibbles.

The verdict: 4/5 Cosmopolitans

The Carlton Hotel

Where: 197 Bourke Street

A: The Carlton Hotel, ironically not in Carlton, is a great rooftop bar with lots of plants and stuffed animals to keep customers entertained. There are also plenty of drinks to choose from at this venue – lots of beers on tap, a wide variety of wines and

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also a great cocktail list for those who want to be a bit adventurous. A frosty Carlton Draught is recommended as their best beer on tap. Outdoors, they have a nice wooden deck to spend a warm Saturday night on, much like tonight! The Carlton is a great bar to share a couple of bevvies with your mates. So who’ll be there tonight?

The verdict: 4/5 Cosmopolitans

The Carlton Hotel

B: Entering The Carlton Hotel is a bit like entering another (very avant-garde) world. There’s rich red wallpaper, old velvet sofas and chairs, palm trees… and stuffed animals!? If you’re not a fan of taxidermy, probably sit this one out. However, if you quite fancy sharing a cold one with a stuffed giraffe, then head there immediately! There’s a decent range of cocktails and jugs, which are perfect for sharing on the outside deck on a warm afternoon/night. An interesting place for dates, if you’re stuck for conversation, look no further than trying to work out just exactly how they managed to get a life size giraffe up the stairs.

The verdict 3.5/5 Cosmopolitans

A’s Pick: Rooftop Cider Bar at Young and Jacksons

Where: 1 Swanston Street (opposite Flinders Street Station)

Rooftop Cider Bar Ally

Melbourne's first cider bar, the Rooftop Cider Bar above the classic Young and Jackson’s pub, is actually where I lost my cider virginity. And it is not an experience I regret in any way. It is here I found my calling – Cheeky Rascal Cider. But beware; it has high alcohol content, so you certainly don’t need much. If you’re not keen on this sweet cider then don’t worry, there are seven other ciders on tap to test out. Nestled in a great location on the same intersection as Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, it’s probably my favourite rooftop bar in Melbourne. It has a great quirky laid-back feel and is a good spot for a catch-up. Food is also available on all levels of the venue, so if you’ve had too many Cheeky Rascals then don’t sweat it; there are plenty of great pub meals to wash it down with.

The verdict: 4.5/5 Cosmopolitans

B’s Pick: Richmond Club Hotel

Where: 100 Swan Street, Richmond

Richmond Club Hotel

Located not far from The Corner Hotel, I’d seen the rooftop of Richmond Club Hotel countless times from the train window before I actually made my first visit. I’m only sorry I didn’t make it sooner. It’s a great modern-looking pub, with decent food and great daily specials. But it’s the rooftop that’s the best. With its own upstairs bar, and personal wooden booths you can reserve or hire out, you get a fantastic view of the city skyline. You can even go in winter or summer thanks to their powerful gas heating and awnings. Visit on a Friday at 5pm, and try their karma keg – you pay what you think your drink is worth, with all proceeds going back to the community. A great place to start, finish or see out the night – it’s also just a convenient stumbling distance from public transport.

The verdict: 4.5/5 Cosmopolitans

As this is sadly The Two’s last post, a big thank you goes out to the Catalyst editors – Andrei, Nathan and Dragana – for this great opportunity, and a big thank you to all our readers. The Two have had an amazing time trying out new things around Melbourne to recommend (or to not recommend for that matter!), and we hope you enjoyed the ride. Don’t forget you can follow The Two on their personal blogs: Ally at Maneuvred Steps and Brittany at Halcyon Future Fashion. Other than that, it’s adieu from The Two!

Brittany Stewart & Ally McManus



Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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