It is time to dust out the closet and put on your dancing shoes because restrictions are lifting soon!

Our favourite bars in Victoria are starting to reopen. There are still some restrictions until the 90% double dosed target is met on Wednesday, November 24. Also known as Phase D, this phase will reintroduce dancing.

To get into all venues, patrons must scan the venue QR codes and show their vaccination cards before entering.

 

THE PEEL

All roads lead to The Peel, Collingwoods long-running nightclub for gay men. The Peel will be reopening once 90% is reached in Victoria & dance floors are allowed.

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Star Observer spoke to The Peel about its history as a gay icon in Melbourne.

The one thing that has stood out over all these years is the diversity of the crowd. Our youngest regular is 18, and our oldest (pre-COVID) was 82, but sadly, he passed away. I reckon were the only place that can have an accountant; a tradie; a student; a shop worker; a hairdresser; a lawyer; someone unemployed; a politician; a labourer; a judge; a criminal; a policeman; a drag queen; a leather queen and a has-been all in The Peel at the same time.  I love to stand there watching them all interact and socialise well, I used to pre-COVID.

The Peel will be celebrating its 33rd birthday in December. The three-bar building has a late licence and courtyard to party the night away.

The Peel Hotel

Although the money that the GoFundMe raised, which was just over $30k, was beneficial from a practical perspective, it was the messages and emails and letters from people from all around the world that made a real difference to everyones psyche.

The Peel is looking towards the light at the end of the long COVID tunnel. To celebrate The Peels 33rd birthday, the hotel wishes to bring fun back, with the return of their Foam parties and other themed dress-up events. They hope for a familyChristmas and New Year to reignite hope and optimism within the community in Victoria. Keep watch for two significant surprise events The Peel has upcoming for Summer.

Im hoping that within a matter of weeks, The Peel will be allowed to reopen and operate as it always has done a place where everyone can enjoy themselves and have a dance. Opening up sooner with very limited numbers and draconian rules about seated only service is not what The Peel is about.

 

EVIES BAR AND DINER

 

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Evie’s Bar and Diner in Fitzroy is a homage to the 1980s New York ball scene, a colourful, inclusive palace. Evie’s told Star Observer, “The last 24 months have pushed us harder than we’d ever expected. But we’re still here, better than ever and can’t wait to bring back the boogie!”

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Open from Tuesday to Sunday; Happy Hour is from 4 pm to 7 pm. Tuesday brings Trivia and All-Night Happy Hour with resident big-busted brainiac queen Eliza Lot at 7:30 pm. Wings Wednesday and Balls Deep Bingo have a rotation of queens and the chance to buy about a kilo of wings for $20! It’s free to play, and balls drop at 8 pm. Thursday is Queeraoke, join queens and sing your loudest from 9 pm till late. Friday and Saturday nights are for dancing late, with Saturday and Sunday Boozy Brunch to recover or prepare for the big weekend nights with two options $59 pp or $79 pp from 11 am to 3 pm. Head down to the iconic vegan-friendly diner and enjoy the fun, flirty vibes.

 

LUWOW

 

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The LuWow is a Pan-Asian food and cocktails tiki-themed bar on Little Collins Street starring kitsch tropical-themed décor and pot plants.

Open seven days a week. This intimate, colourful oasis is the perfect spot to get a tropical cocktail and dance to 60s garage, ska, rhythm and blues, rock n roll music.

LuWow reopened mid-October at 50% capacity until the end of November with 100% capacity. It is always best to book in, as the venues fill up with weekly DJs.

Star Observer spoke to LuWow about reopening.

Were a great over the top bar, with great tunes and over the top with fun and colour!

The flamboyant bar is preparing a three-day New Years Eve event called The Wild Weekend, incorporating everything from bands, cabaret, burlesque, dancing, parties, dress-ups.

 

MOLLIES BAR AND DINER AND SIRCUIT BAR

Mollies bar and Diner serves fresh food on a heated rooftop overlooking Fitzroy.

Drag Bingo starts Wednesdays with rotating hostesses Isis Avis Loren, Jemima Handful, Miss Jay and Tequila Mockingbird.

Thursdays bring Babydrag All-Stars with the return of OGs hosted by Missy LaMinx. Fridays Drag Race UK and Canada are screened, followed by shows with Leasa Mann and special guests.

Saturday Night Diva is an intimate performance hosted by D Flowers or Amena Jay.

Sunday Shade brings a fun and spicy event hosted by Tequila Mockingbird and guests reading each other to filth and including audience members, of course! Go with your friends on a Sunday and be read to filth, fabulous queens!

Then, head next door to sister bar Sircuit Bar to dance the night away with DJs and drag queens from Thursday to Sunday.

 

LAIRD

The Laird in Abbotsford is one of Australias longest-running gay-owned male catering venues, opening in 1980. It was known as Melbournes only bear and leather bar but has become a safe space for gay men, cisgender and transgender.

The Laird is open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Tuesday is the classic Pool Comp, Wednesday is Trivia Hirsute hosted by Dean Arcuri, where everyone is a winner.

Thursday is Spit N Polish, possibly the worlds longest-running leather and fetish night. The dress code encourages comfortability for a good atmosphere.

Fridays Prime and Saturdays Beat have DJs on rotation, and Sunday Social is a way to wrap up the week with food and DJs.

Stay tuned to hear the winner of the annual Laird Leatherman Competition on Saturday, November 13.

 

POOF DOOF MELBOURNE

 

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Reopening Saturday, October 30, Poof Doof has quickly become Australias most prominent gay rave, held at Chasers Nightclub in South Yarra. Poof Doof is hosted by queens, celebrities and DJs from Honey Dijon to Horse Meat Disco to Riton. With its epic dance parties and drag brunches, it is the place to be dancing on a Saturday.

 

THE RAILWAY HOTEL

The Railway Hotel in Windsor is a 24/7 bottle shop with a main bar and deck with city views. The hotel is known for its Sunday Sessions every 4pm with resident DJ Nick playing the best tunes and happy hour on the deck. The casual dining experience has Friday acoustic nights and Saturday DJ nights and is only closed for 9 hours every year!

 

PRIDE OF FOOTSCRAY

Pride of Footscray is a community bar open on Friday and Saturday for fun, friends and fabulous entertainment. A rotation of drag queens, including Bathsheba, Sam T and Gloss, perform on Friday and Saturday nights.

The bar is part-owned by 200 people with the pledge, I am part of the human race, and I respect diversity, including but not limited to diversity of thought, opinion, gender, culture, ethnicity, religion and sexuality.

Patrons can sign up as members and get various discounts.

 

RAINBOW HOUSE CLUB

Rainbow House Club in Fitzroy is open from Wednesday to Sunday.

Wednesdays are tinkle.Piano bar with pianist Ronan Chapple for cabaret setting of live music from 8pm often joined with a guest vocalist.

Thursdays are Servedrag shows with free entry and a buffet.

Fridays are Frothand Saturdays are Venuswith DJs, drag shows and food all night.

Sundays are a rotation of special events, from Halloween events to Slumber Party shows with queens. Head to Rainbow House Club and enjoy drag and dinner!

 

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