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Melbourne Night Life

Melbourne is Australias bar capital and its hub of live music. With the addition of a buzzing clubland, the city covers all styles and caters to all tastes. The central business district not only serves its after-work drinkers but also attracts a young, trendy crowd of inner-city professionals. Many of Melbournes smarter bars are tucked away in the citys many lanes or across the Yarra River in Southgate, a modern riverside precinct.

Many of Melbournes venues function variously as bars, clubs and live-music rooms depending on the night and the hour. The varied nature of the bars and clubs means that the dress code also varies enormously, but generally the trendier the place, the stricter the dress code. Entrance to clubs is free but often at weekends a fee is introduced after 2100. Gay Melbourne has its base in the inner suburb of South Yarra, with numerous pubs, clubs and discos centred around Commercial Road. Other inner-city districts, such as Fitzroy and St Kilda, by Port Philip Bay, feature further options for a city that loves to be out after dark.

Very relaxed licensing hours mean that it is possible to drink through the night. The minimum drinking age is 18 years. The average price for a beer served in a bar is A$5, while in a nightclub it is more likely to be around A$6.

Free listings magazines include Inpress and Beat. Fridays Age newspaper contains the entertainment listings supplement EG. Information is available online (www.melbournetribe.com and melbourne.citysearch.com.au).

Bars: Centrally located cocktail bars include the popular Gin Palace, 190 Little Collins Street, and the very smart Hairy Canary, 212 Little Collins Street. The sumptuous Chesterfield lounges of the Melbourne Supper Club, 161 Spring Street, are also a great place to enjoy cocktails and an impressive array of wines, as is the renowned Jimmy Watsons Wine Bar, 333 Lygon Street, in Carlton, Melbournes Little Italy. Hidden away in the CBD laneways, the citys bright young things can be found in Honkytonk, Duckboard Place, and Misty Place, 3-5 Hosier Lane, both of which feature arty interiors and transform into clubs later at night. A more casual atmosphere can be found in the Up Top Bar, 163 Russell Street, or The Lounge, 243 Swanston Street. One of the most popular bars in Southgate is Walters Wine Bar, noted for its fabulous wines, good food and great views.

Casinos: Crown Casino, in the Crown Entertainment Complex, Southgate, is open 24 hours a day and offers blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and poker machines. Dress is smart-casual, although a jacket and tie is required for some areas.

Clubs:

Within Melbournes CBD, Tatou, 377 Little Collins Street, is a bar/restaurant that becomes a nightclub playing techno, retro and progressive house; and Melbourne Metro, 20-30 Bourke Street, is a large venue that offers a wide variety of musical styles. Another of the citys larger venues is Chasers, 386 Chapel Street, South Yarra, one of Melbournes oldest nightclubs.

The entertainment at Revolver, 229 Chapel Street, Prahran, ranges from breakbeat and drumnbass to soul and funk, and features top DJs as well as live acts every night. A party crowd regularly descends on the Chevron Hotel every weekend for Freakazoid, 519 St Kilda Road, a fun-loving club featuring a blend of house, garage and disco. Any of the biggest international touring DJs play house, funk and R&B at QBH, 1 Queensbridge Street, South Melbourne, while the young and glamorous can be seen dancing all night to deep house, garage, funk and disco at Seven, 52 Albert Road, South Melbourne. The white cocoon shape of the Glow Bar, 422 Queen Street, attracts a groo