304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Ph: (03) 9417 0455
THIS Fitzroy bar has been a favourite in the Melbourne bar scene for 13 years, but if you’re new to the area or need more convincing: it was recently listed as the 10th best bar in the world by Drinks International. When you’re beating bars in places like London and Paris, you know you’re doing well.
Under its entry, Drinks International included a working theory as to the extent of Black Pearl’s influence: “Australian bartenders can be no further than sex degrees of separation from a bartender who worked at the Pearl.” By doing this, it means they are less than six degrees of separation from some of the most talented and skilful bartenders in the Australian bar scene. A number of the Pearl’s bartenders have competed in competitions on an international stage and taken home cocktail competition titles.
So what makes Black Pearl a treasure among Melbourne’s expansive community of bars? Its hospitality is almost unsurpassed, for starters. The staff treat patrons as though they are a part of the family, compelling them to come back time and time again. It is also has incredibly late opening hours, something that bartenders at neighbouring bars take advantage of after their shifts have finished.
There is a striking cocktail list to indulge in, along with food to eat if you travel upstairs to The Attic. Located in the heart of Fitzroy’s hipster scene, it’s a bar worth checking out, and one you’ll undoubtedly return to again and again.
The Book Grocer
147–149 Russel St, Melbourne
Ph: (03) 9650 0041
JUST about everyone loves to curl up with a lovely book over the weekend, or during the week, or when you get a spare moment at work. It can be a nice escape, delving into another world that allows you to switch off from reality for even a few moments.
However, books can be quite expensive, and this may prove a deterrent for many avid readers.
At The Book Grocer, this isn’t an issue. This bookstore provides cheap prices on an expansive selection of books, so that you can easily stock up on several novels in one haul to keep you occupied until the new year. There are new and old titles available. The Book Grocer is a store scattered around Melbourne CBD and its neighbouring areas, but the quaint store on Russell St is easily accessible and provides a healthy selection of books to choose from.
Plump Organic Grocery
24 Ballarat St, Yarraville
Ph: (03) 9687 6422
FOR those who live around Melbourne and prefer to purchase fresh, organic produce and groceries when stocking up their cupboards, Plump Organic Grocery in Yarraville is the perfect place to start. The store has been open since 2002 and has helped revitalise Yarraville Village ever since.
Colourful, fresh produce line the walls inside, while the shelves are stacked with oils, honey, and herbs. There is also a fridge and freezer section stocked with berries, yoghurt, milk, and ice cream. For those who are after organic products for around the home, Plump also offers environmentally friendly shampoo, conditioner, make-up, and laundry powder. Staff members also make up blends of teas, and cold-pressed fresh juices to order.
All of the fresh produce is sourced from the local Footscray Market every morning, compelling customers to visit this hub of fresh and organic products for environmentally conscious consumers on a daily basis.
Melbourne Comedy Club
380 Lygon St, Carlton
Ph: (03) 9650 1977
MELBOURNE Comedy Club started out in 1975 as The Last Laugh Comedy Club and has been providing audiences with bountiful entertainment ever since. The club has hosted many famous comedians in both Australia and around the world, including Jimeoin, Wendy Harmer and Ben Elton.
The comedy line up is changed regularly to keep things fresh and many stars from overseas appear exclusively here as it is located in the heart of Melbourne and on the historic Lygon St. This means that pre or post show, you’re able to take a wander down the Italian street and indulge in delectable cuisine.
Upstairs, the historic Athenaeum Theatre is open every Friday and Saturday night, where three professional comedians take to the stage for three hours of side-splitting laughs.
If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends or family, a comedy show is always a safe bet, and at Melbourne Comedy Club you won’t be disappointed.
286 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
Ph: 1300 773 775
A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro
268 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
Ph: (03) 9077 2856
8/161 Collins St, Melbourne
Ph: (03) 9662 2232
310 Smith St, Collingwood
Ph: (03) 9419 6126
Glick’s Cakes and Bagels
330 Carlisle St, Balaclava
Ph: (03) 9527 2198
To find a full list of small businesses to support in your area, visit www.shopsmallaustralia.com