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Where to enjoy the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne

Celebrate the AFL Grand Final in style at these Melbourne pubs and bars

By Time Out in association with Australian Venue Co |
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Western Bulldogs supporters at Wharf Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

On Saturday, September 28 the last siren on of the AFL season will ring out across the hallowed grounds of the MCG. No matter who wins, Grand Final Day is always one of the most exciting days of the year for Melbourne, with even non-supporters keen to join in the city-wide celebrations. Of course the city’s bars and hotels are keen to get in on the action too, with a stack of special offers and packages available for those who want to watch the big game in style. Here are eight places to enjoy the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne.

Mini kegs at Hopscotch bar
Photograph: Supplied

Hopscotch

Feel like enjoying the Grand Final by the river? Chic Southbank bar Hopscotch will be screening the game on two megascreens, including one situated on the picturesque river terrace. For something to quench your mid-match thirst you can even order mini kegs – two litres of beer from $40 a pop. Then after the game stick around for live music and a DJ from 9.30pm.

Western Bulldogs supporters at Wharf Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

Wharf Hotel

Wear your team colours with pride at Wharf Hotel. The venue is offering free face painting from midday so you can deck your noggin out in your team’s regalia (even if they didn’t make the Grand Final). Wharf Hotel is also screening the game on eight plasma screens as well as a mega riverside screen. And during half time there will be a handball comp plus mega jugs of Furphy and beer towers available all day.

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Imperial Hotel Bourke St
AFL fans watching GF at Imperial Bourke St

Imperial Bourke Street

Imperial Bourke Street is known for its sports coverage, and you bet Grand Final Day is no exception. Before the first siren the Imperial will be serving lunch on the ground floor and first floor (reservations are a must), then the action will continue upstairs at the Imperial rooftop. The bar will be switching on its massive Jumbotron, but be warned – the rooftop is first in, so arrive early to secure the best spot.

People sitting outside at College Lawn
Photograph: Supplied

College Lawn

College Lawn will be screening the AFL Grand Final on not one, not five, not ten but on a massive 18 screens. No matter where you are in this Prahran bar you’ll have an ace spot to watch all the MCG action. If you have a favourite spot in mind, however, get in from 11am to steal it as College Lawn is only taking limited reservations. Then after the Norm Smith medal is announced there will be DJs to take the party into the night.

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People at the bar at the Crafty Squire
Photograph: Supplied

The Crafty Squire

Are 18 screens still not enough for you? The Crafty Squire is playing the AFL Grand Final on 24 screens across the craft beer bar and microbrewery. The CBD venue is perfect for those wanting a frothy craft beer with their grand final match, with the full James Squire range (plus limited releases) available from the bar. No need to wander off after the final siren – celebrate commiserate at the Crafty Squire with live music.

Pizza and a beer at Beer DeLuxe Fed Square
Photograph: Supplied

Beer DeLuxe Fed Square

Do you know your IPAs from your APAs? Beer DeLuxe Fed Square is where beer lovers are celebrating the Grand Final this year. There are 22 craft beers on tap as well as juicy burgers and perfectly cooked pizzas (they even do a chicken parma burger). The game itself will be shown on a total of seven screens, and afterwards you can keep enjoying the brewskies in the lush garden with live music.

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Man wearing a Tiger's scarf pouring a beer at Harlow
Photograph: Supplied

Harlow

If you’re proudly from Tigerland stay local and watch the AFL Grand Final at Harlow. The Church Street bar will be feeding Richmond fans (and other supporters too) from 10am with $15 breakfast burgers then marching into the game day festivities with seven screens across the three-storey venue (including a massive one in the beer garden and a projector on level one). The à la carte menu is available all day and Harlow will be accepting bookings if you want to secure a spot.

Two women having holding cocktails at Fargo
Photograph: Supplied

Fargo

Start Grand Final Day in the most Melbourne way possible – with a bottomless brunch at Fargo. The cocktail bar will be opening at 9am to offer game day punters bottomless mimosas, spritzes, prosecco and moscato plus a brunch item from the menu. Too early for you? Fargo is also offering a lunchtime drinks package from noon where you get a burger (or a bowl) plus bottomless beer, wine and bubbles. Plus there are seven screens at Fargo, and all will be showing the Grand Final.

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