With an unassuming entrance; Berlin Bar offers Melbourne another lane way cocktail bar. The difference is this bar will take you back to when Berlin was a very different place it was today; its more than just a place to get a cocktail.
- Easy, next to Eurotrash is a doorway which subtly lets you know that something a bit classier is upstairs.
- Type: Cocktail bar
- Food: None
- Music: Lounge
- Cover: None
Once you find the entrance to Berlin Bar your first experience (after stairs and an image of Charlie Chaplin) is a closed door with a doorbell. Slightly confused you ring the doorbell and wait; a bartender comes down and opens the door asking how many of you there are then takes you back in time to a world of opulence or past it to a world of communism. You see much like Berlin was this bar is divided into East and West Berlin, complete with checkpoint Charlie in the middle. The contrast of obvious with leather couches and booths in West Berlin to ammunition boxes and converted bathtubs in East Berlin. This is a bar with a strong sense of place and what it is trying to be, a bar that is ‘based on the unification of a divided vision; sumptuous yet humble, Berlin is a venue split in two, as the famous city itself once was’, as the website writes.
While the cocktail list is a good size list of both the classic and modern, the menu is in the form of a passport complete with visa. The cocktails themselves are slightly more on the expensive side of things than the cheaper side with most cocktails around $18, however this is justified by the service and quality of the drinks being prepared. Accompanying the name of each drink is a short description and history of the cocktail which is now becoming standard for any cocktail bar worth their salt. There is also a good selection of German beers, many of which you won’t be in your local bottle shop, giving the always enjoyable opportunity to sample previously unsampled beers. On top of that there is very impressive range of spirits if you want to take a more personalised route.
When visiting a bar like Berlin Bar with such a strong theme it is inevitable that the mind starts envision ideas on the edge of possibility, ranging from having different menus for each side of Berlin to stamping a passport every time you ordered a drink or passed over the checkpoint to actually judging you and treating you differently depending on what side of Berlin the staff seated you in. While some of these may work in principle, they run the risk of putting a bar from classy bar with a theme to a crass and tacky bar with a theme. The bar runs the line well and gives Melbourne another excellent bar that shows just how special our bar scene is here.
The website describes the experience very well when it says that ‘Berlin Bar invokes a contemporary cultural vortex, a haven in which guests are transported to an overlooked era that was forever thought to be lost’. Or more simply a great unique bar that takes you back in time.
+ Unique theme
+ Quality menu
+ Secluded away
- Fills up quickly
- Not for a cheap night