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Bars Popping Up in Melbourne

Everyone loves pop-up bars. It might be a question of exclusivity – you know it’s there for a limited time only and the sheer fact that others won’t get to experience it might get you off.

Or maybe it’s due to the location – whether they’re floating, moving, hiding or stationed in a spot they seemingly shouldn’t be, pop-up bars are always somewhere cool. Perhaps it’s because pop-ups serve up something different, something you might not find on a menu again anytime soon.

It’s a combination of all those things really, isn’t it?

Well, it’s no secret that Melbourne is more than fond of a pop-up bar. There is a whole gaggle popping up across the city as we speak, so for your boozing pleasure, we’ve made a Summer Guide to Melbourne Pop-up Bars.

Ball Pit Party

The Beach was a smash hit last year. And with one million balls, this will be like that, but better. Ball Pit Party will be arranged across several adult playgrounds and there’ll also be a cocktail bar, of course. It’ll be in St Kilda from March 23–25 and tickets will without a doubt go super fast so don’t miss out. Any excuse to be a big kid, right?


A 38-metre-long fluorescent fish floating on the Yarra, serving up Pimm’s, kombucha cocktails, Margaritas, quesadillas and cerviche to DJ-spun beats. It’s there now and will be there all through Feb. Need I go on?

Trash Tiki

In an effort to address the human race’s unrelenting overconsumption, Trash Tiki is a waste-free, world-travelling pop-up cocktail bar. From January 22 to February 3, they’ll be at The Beaufort mixing junk-themed concoctions, like Last Rites; Agricole, passionfruit seed, avocado pit falernum and grapefruit.

South Wharf summer garden pop-up

Until the end of Feb, the Common Man Lawn will offer thirsty punters a Heineken 3 rooftop bar and Pimms garden, complete with white picket fence, bocce, giant Jenga and Connect Four. They’ll be pouring cocktails, cocktail jugs, Heineken 3 and frozen sauv blanc (the new frosé perhaps?).

Arbory Afloat

As if trying to upstage Supafish, Arbory Afloat is a 500-square-metre floating pontoon in front of the normal, landlubbing Arbory. With a Mediterranean beach club vibe, this buoyant bar will be serving an extensive range of fruit-based cocktails, gin and tonic remixes, and an enviable wine list crafted by National Good Food Guide 2018 Sommelier of the Year, Raul Moreno Yagüe.

And that is just five of the 14 on our pop-up bar radar.

The list goes on with Supernormal Natsu at National Gallery of Victoria; Nocturnal, a series of adults only parties at Melbourne Museum; El Gordo Tacqueria at Boat Builders Yard; Club Aperol at Riverland Bar; Melbourne Gin Company Summer G&T bar; Aperol Summer at The Carlton Club; Summer Garden at Stamford; Chuckle Park tiki party and Bang Bang Bar.

words by niall roeder

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