Loch and Key

Bars , Cocktail bars Melbourne
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Get your drink on until the break of dawn

The city’s oldest pub has a secret. Loch and Key is hidden up a rickety staircase, behind a bookcase in the Captain Melville bar. It’s a handsome space of rich timbers, mounted deer heads and a broad deck lined with salvaged coffee tables, a beaten peacock-blue sofa and deep wooden banquettes. A blackboard menu lists the seasonal special, perhaps a citrusy, smoky blend of mezcal, Solerno and blood orange juice. But if that doesn’t grab you, leave your drink in the hands of the supremely capable bar staff, who'll ask you what you're craving and pour something appropriate, be that an Americano or a craft beer.

Loch and Key is best known as a late-night reveller, when the couch-filled warren of rooms come to life, but its early evening appeal shouldn't be ignored, as the setting sun filters onto the balcony and the electronica makes way for ’70s funk.

Venue name: Loch and Key
Address: Captain Melville, entry via rear laneway
34 Franklin St
Opening hours: Wed, Thu 6pm-3am; Fri 6pm-5am; Sat 8pm-5am
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