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Molly Canberra
Photograph: Martin Ollman

Hidden in the northeast corner of pedestrian square Hobart Place with only an old school yellow lantern to guide you to its wooden door, Molly is a basement bar where you can easily lose your sense of time or place. Seriously, the tiled floors whisper ‘Paris’, the mid-century modern chairs say Copenhagen, the bushels of garlic and empty Champagne bottles, sausages and hams hanging above a delicatessen counter in one corner suggest ‘Italy’, while the music is pure American speakeasy.

Fortunately, the bar’s whisky selection is so extensive, you can take a round-the-world trip on the stuff without ever leaving the bar. They have more than 300 bottles, from surprising locales like India, France and Italy – as well as the usual suspects: Scotland, Japan and the United States. Representing on the home front are Tasmanian drops like Lark and Sullivan’s Cove. Not a fan of the straight stuff? They’ll mix it into an Old Fashioned and barrel age it again for you. There’s also a modest wine selection, including riesling from local boy Nick O’Leary and a short beer list featuring Feral IPA and Stone and Wood Pacific Ale – for those that fear spirits. As you’d hope from a joint with a miniature salumeria tucked in one corner, you can get a charcuterie or cheese board to go with your libations.

It may be hard to find, but on Friday nights and weekends, this place gets packed quickly – especially on chilly winter nights when anyone wants to do is hide in a bunker with something warming. If you want to claim a coveted booth at the end of the bar, we suggest arriving early.


Venue name: Molly
Address: 35-37 London Circuit
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-midnight; Thu-Sat 4pm-2am
Static map showing venue location