Melbourne hipster

25 12 2016


While back in town, I wanted to see what was new on Melbourne’s hipster strip of Fitzroy. I started with “Easey’s”, a  frankly remarkable bar and burger joint housed in a series of old train carraiges, perched up four flights of grafittied stairs on an innercity sidestreet. Not only is the concept amazing, but the banging nineties hip hop, views, tasy burgers and cute straight bro waiters gave it a fun-time vibe.

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Around the corner on Smith Street is “Hotel Jesus”,  perhaps the kitschiest of the city’s burgeoning crop of Mexican restaurants, designed by the same team as Bali’s (even more riotous) “Motel Mexicola“.

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And finally, way down the end of Johnston Street near the river, is “Admiral Cheng-Ho.” The cafe is named after the Chinese explorer ( more often known as Zheng-he) who led a fleet to Africa in the thirteenth century and could hypothetically have taken coffee back to China. Since the closure of “Lawyers, Guns and Money”, a hipster congee and tripe cafe, this is the only Chinese-themed hipster cafe in Melbourne but to be honest, other than the teas on the menu it was mostly standard (and therefore, excellent) Melbourne cafe fare.


6 08 2014

Melbourne street

13 07 2014

Melbourne’s hippest street?

5 09 2012

Pictured: Sonido

A story in the Age newspaper on the rise and rise of Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street with some interesting suggestions.Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street


20 07 2012

Here is a cool new addition to Melbourne’s nightlife: the South Seas, a new tikki-style rum bar decked out in gleeful Brady-Bunch-goes-to-Hawaii style, playing kitsch Hawaiian music and serving mai-tai cocktails with little grass-skirted girls on stirring sticks.

The bar has opened in what was formerly the Centrelink (government unemployment office) on Johnson Street, opposite Hares and Hyenas. It had also housed, briefly, a dowdy bar called the Johnson which occassionally hosted fun lesbian parties, but as I mentioned to my friends when I visited, I thought it would have been cooler if the bar had kept its old name and theme – “Lets grab a drink at Centrelink”.


The newest incarnation – empty when we were there – impressed me though with its commitment to its theme. It has bamboo bathrooms, aquariums at the coat check and fake plants and Polynesian masks everywhere.

I loved it.

20 07 2012


My Melbourne: Fitzroy

19 07 2012


Fitzroy is my favourite Melbourne suburb – an old working class, inner city neighbourhood home to an interesting mix of immigrants, bohemians and more and more wealthy up-and-comers. There are gay bars and book shops, an African internet cafe (well there was, it looked closed), tatty Chinese homewares stores selling gaudy ornaments, super-expensive clothing boutiques, endless vintage shops, trees and bike  racks covered in “knitted grafitti” and miles of interesting street art down residential streets and alleyways. One street has a few real Keith Haring pieces left over from his visit to the city in the early 80s, just behind a block of public housing flats. There is a former Aboriginal health centre-turned cockail bar which trains Aboriginal youth in hospitality work, and a stretch of footpath outside a Safeway supermarket where other Aboriginal people often meet on the street. There are Turkish, Korean, Ethiopian and Afghan restaurants,  a forlorn former “Spanish strip” now consisting of a single Iberian supermarket, flamenco bar and a restaurant and cultish indie record stores and bookshops.