Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne

Gin Palace

190 Little Collins St, Melbourne, VIC
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12 years on Gin Palace is still making and is most highly renowned for outstanding martinis. And that is one of many reasons why this plush den is an institution today. The menu has changed little and Vernon himself will tell you that Gin Palace martinis are made exactly the same today as they were when he opened (Gin Palace's Martini Master Class is available upon request). This fact, along with 'we never close' hours, the very gorgeous staff who offer table service as good as the best and in the traditions of grand hospitality, Gin Palace provides guests with a choice of delectable tidbits, to ensure that every sense of gustatory well-being is entirely satiated... hmmmm!

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The Gin Palace Review

Review By Danielle Murnane

Tucked away in one of Melbourne's small alleyways, Gin Palace remains after many years of existence, one of Melbourne's hidden delights.

Walking into the quaint bar, the vibe I instantly picked up was very chill and tranquil. With the lights dim, the music on quietly in the background, there is a definite emphasis on talking. Vintage chairs and couches were set up across the venue floor. (The hardest part of the night was probably deciding where to sit!)

After making that taunting decision of where to sit, I could then focus on the big question... what to drink? Taking my seat I was greeted by a very friendly waitress who handed me a drink menu. Yes, Table service! This means that there is absolutely no reason to leave your seat. Flicking through the menu, I figure when in Rome, I may as well give one of their famous cocktails a try. Let me tell you, Gin Palace is not stingy with their alcohol. After that one cocktail I was set for the night!

As the night grew later the place starting packing out with younger bodies and the seating began to limit. The venue actually got quite packed to my surprise, as I hadn't heard of the venue until that night.

The best part of Gin Palace, I found, was sitting down and catching up with my friends on those vintage lounges. We all became oblivious to our surroundings. No longer did I feel as if I were out at a bar in the city. I felt more so as if I were hanging out at one of my friend's houses. (With the exception of the table service!)

If you are looking for a place to have a few quiet drinks, catch up with friends, even take your girl out on a romantic date, Gin Palace will definitely be sufficient in meeting your needs.

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A Night @ The Gin Palace via The Taxi Bar

By Alex Schleibs

Names have been changed to protect the devious and those who wish to continue to maintain respectable day time careers.

The night began as any other does, a sequence of flashing mobile phone screens and the most haphazard of plans gradually came to rushed fruition, as is common place amongst our useless group, however, this aside, we eventually decided upon the Taxi Bar in Federation Square. It should be noted that unless one's tastes extend to being hassled by smashed middle aged business men, then the bottom floor of this bar need be avoided like some form of plague infested pigeon, it is also much too cramped for my taste. Taxi's saving grace is its far more appealing cocktail bar on the top level, where both myself and my much beloved companion who shall be known as birthday boy (for dignity reasons and the fact that it was his birthday on this particular day), set off kicking off our night.

Now before I go any further I would like to bring to everyone's attention a troubling epidemic infecting Melbourne Bars, city wide... the faux cosmo. This filthy imposter is an opaque shadow of the delightful cosmo and can contain cinnamon or salt around the edge of the glass, burnt orange peel and can now apparently be orange in colour as well? As a diehard fan of the original, I must admit my bias to any bar that can still produce the genuine article, and Taxi delivers.

We enjoyed our cocktails in the simple comforts of Taxi's spacious armchairs before remarking how inconvenient it was that the only bathroom was two treacherous flights of stairs down and so decided to continue our adventure off into the Melbourne city night. After much debate (birthday boy enjoys his cocktails in multiples of two) we decided to head towards the earlier agreed upon bar which would ultimately become the host venue for birthday boy's birthday drinks.

A minor metropolitan inclined alley later (anything worth going to in Melbourne is hidden in alcoves or down alleys) we spied the modestly luminous sign for Gin Palace. We entered and set about establishing ourselves in one of Gin Palaces many alcoves, the seating in this bar is of particular interest as it is designed in such a way that you need not see anyone else in the bar if you so wish, which is handy for keeping all disgraces private but is constant battle when waiting on members of a party who are unfamiliar with the lay out, (we lost half our crew to a settlement two members set up in another corner). Regardless, Gin Palace is lovely and does its namesake proud with a dizzying array or Gins available and they can also boast one of the best martini menus in Melbourne. The staff are all very friendly and even offer the dangerous option of table service.

A word of caution to this tale, to begin a tab, which let's be honest is always an amazing idea at the time, requires either a credit card of drivers license to be left behind the bar, and if your anything like us, there are far more pressing matters usually at hand when leaving a venue, in this instance for example it was who will help pour birthday boy into his proverbial prepaid yellow and green chariot and then what everyone was hoping to get at the illustrious 24 hour Hungry Jacks. With all this drama, it is easy to forget the 'guarantee', and that next morning walk of shame to retrieve it can be anything but delightful.

Until next time...

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