The best gay bars in Melbourne
You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.
Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.
The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.
Hares & Hyenas
Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did
You might also like...
RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride – a rolling bike festival
Experience Victoria as you never have before at the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride, where you'll ride through Victoria's beautiful scenery from the Grampians to the Great Ocean Road. The annual bike ride has been running for 30 years and is quite possibly the best-kept secret in local travel, for two unbeatable reasons: you can experience great scenery by day and a party atmosphere by night. Riders can opt to do a three, five or nine-day ride across Victoria. The three-day option (188km) runs along the coast from Apollo Bay, Bellbrae, Queenscliff to Geelong from December 1-4. The five-day course (339km) runs from the historic town of Halls Gap and winds down to the coast past the Twelve Apostles to finish at Apollo Bay from November 26 to December 1. For riders who are in it for the long haul, there's the nine-day ride from Halls Gap to Geelong (527km) from November 26 to December 4. This event is open to riders of all ages (children included), though a reasonable level of fitness is expected. While the rides will cover plenty of distance, full support and service from the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride will ensure no one gets left behind. Everything is included in the ticket price: the support team will provide three meals a day, toilets, hot showers at the campsites and luggage transfers. Don't have a tent? There are rental options available. It's not all about the riding either – once you get off the saddle, the evenings will take on a festival atmosphere with live mu
A quirky theme does not a great bar make – but at George's Bar in Fitzroy, you're guaranteed both. Late last year, Fitzroy awoke to a huge George Costanza mural and a sign on the door instructing patrons to "BE MORE LIKE GEORGE". A flurry of media interest ensued (Jason Alexander himself even tweeted about it), but the real test was whether the Johnston Street bar would stand the test of time. Thankfully, it has. George's Bar has built a following around its chilled-out attitude and lack of pretension from friendly bar staff. They'll happily make you a top-notch Old Fashioned or pour you a Little Creatures on tap. If you're hungry, don't go past the toasties: the classic Art Vandelay is a fat stack of double cheese, or if you're feeling adventurous, go for the Dealership: a combo of Twix, maple butter and pretzels. George's Bar also does a great trivia night on Wednesdays and comedy night on Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays are all about the local DJs. Naturally, photos of Costanza are placed around the walls – but whether you're a Seinfeld fan or not, George's Bar is the local you've been looking for.
Customise your hospo uniform with Cargo Crew
Love your hospo job, but getting sick of wearing the same thing every day? Looking to inject some personality into the uniforms of your staff? Cargo Crew – the Melbourne-based leaders in high-quality uniforms – are listening. Cargo Crew are known for their diverse uniform collections, which range from Scandi-cool aprons with leather straps to chino pants that look as good at work as on your days off. Now, they're going one step further by offering you the chance to completely customise your uniform. Your Way offers endless options. You can select embroidered patches or pin badges to your shirt, monogram your apron and mix and match your outfit. For the full range, visit the website, look around and get in touch with the Cargo Crew team who will take care of the rest. Alternatively, Melbourne customers can head to Cargo Crew's Your Way kiosk at their Brunswick East showroom (4-6 Barkly St, Brunswick East 3057. Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm). There you can mix and match your selection and get ideas for your perfect personalised uniform.
Starward Whisky presents: The Craft of Whisky
Starward Whisky is teaming up with Work-Shop and Time Out Melbourne for a night of whisky and craft workshops and demonstrations. Guests will be treated to a Starward whisky cocktail on arrival, while local jeweller and printmaker Cassandra Gill will showcase her stunning works in a hands-on interactive craft demonstration. Multi-disciplinary artist Nicole Black will also be putting on an intriguing live demonstration and workshop to showcase her mixed media work. if you want to see what the new age of crafting looks like, this is your chance. Stick around for a nip of Starward whisky afterwards, made at the New World Whisky Distillery right here in Melbourne. Starward founder David Vitale will tell guests the fascinating story on how he set up a highly successful craft whisky label out of an airport hangar in Essendon.