In Melbourne, most locals can hardly wait for summer to end each year. No, it’s not that they’re fed up with the hot weather – it’s because the end of summer each year means one thing: the start of the footy season. Because the return of the AFL (and NRL if that’s your thing) isn’t just about the games. Oh no. It’s also about the atmosphere – the ability to bond over a few drinks with a couple of strangers before a match or commiserate with other fans after a loss. And for locals, Transport Bar epitomises all that’s good about the footy season with free-flowing beers, pub food and friendly crowds.
The appeal of Transport isn’t just its location. To be fair, the location is a big drawcard for fans headed to the MCG, with Transport right next to Flinders Street Station and only a 15-minute walk to the ‘G (ten if you’re really keen). You can even catch a tram from Transport to Marvel Stadium in Docklands for free (catch the number 75 or 35 from Flinders Street). But the bar has also won over fans from all sporting codes for its impressive list of beers, wines and cocktails that help make match day just that little bit better.
We challenge any beer lover not to find something they like at Transport Bar. The venue rocks 15 beers on tap (including Furphy, Little Creatures and Guinness) as well as a huge number of bottled beers from Melbourne and around the world. Prefer a vino before the big match? Transport has six different wines on tap and a whole lot more by the bottle. And for those who need a bit of a pre-game pick-me-up, Transport even has Espresso Martinis on tap as well as a strong cocktail list that proves it’s more than your average beer-and-burger sports bar.
Having said that, it wouldn’t be fair not to talk about the burgers at Transport Bar, because they are a damn fine way to fuel up before a match. The bar also serves a selection of crisp pizzas, classic pub grub dishes (get amongst the grilled porterhouse steak as well as the veggie curry) and some fairly fancy bar snacks. It’s not every sports bar that serves freshly shucked oysters and cheese and charcuterie plates, after all.
Transport Bar even has its own loyalty app that gives you ten per cent off every purchase you make (it’s available on both Google Play and the App Store). So next time you’re on your way to the big game, warm up in Transport Bar first. And if you're not going to the match – or it's being played interstate – then you're in luck: at Transport Bar you can watch it on not one but two of the biggest screens in Melbourne.