Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne

Lounge

1/243 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC
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Lounge practically wrote the book on bar/restaurant/club crossover venues. Since 1989, the Lounge has kept its popularity. From the office parties at lunch time through to the hard-core dance crowd in the wee hours, Lounge is always on the move. With a bit of something for everyone, from the uni students surviving on coffee to the young professionals having after work drinks, Lounge doesn't quite fit in a niche.

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What to Expect @ Lounge Bar


By Sophie Lane

The rickety, well hidden stairs leading up to Swanston Street's Lounge Bar convince any new comer that this bar is all about false advertising. "Lounge Bar?" you sigh whilst climbing and contemplating a trip home to watch The Biggest Loser for some (much needed) fitness motivation. "Lounge? Lounge my unmotivated arse". Don't be fooled by initial impressions though. A quick climb up the stairs (provided this bar is your first stop for the night- if not, allow an extra 5 minutes for the less than sober stumble) and sarcastic sighs are soon forgotten. In reality this bar encompasses every facet of the word lounge without your back side even touching the sofas.

Upon entrance, a small bar to the left is covered in blackboards boasting the venue's menu. Whether it be food or alcohol, the broad range of choices hanging high from above seem to radiate down like the holy spirit. After realising that you are comparing food and beverages to the pearly white gates of heaven, you finally realise that your Biggest Loser obsession is resulting in the opposite of health motivation.

A small pile of pine-plank backed cocktail menus call the names of every dry mouthed Miss in the establishment, and you find yourself waiting five minutes before getting your hands on the list of specials. After the gaggle of guzzlers order everything and anything off of the menu, you are shortly served your own slice of heaven. Although the service is slow due to the amount of different beverages at hand, it's well worth the wait and the high end price. Two sips into the strong, sugary, twenty dollar cocktail and I'm already looking back at the menu for my next hit.

Layout wise, the venue boasts the use of a large open main room filled with small intimate booths and tables. A dance floor is no where to be seen, with small groups of post-work drinkers displaying looks of anything but booty shaking ambitions. Small candles light up the dim mood lighting, and if there wasn't a parma being served to my right I could have sipped my pink cocktail and pretended I was Carrie on the search for Mr. Big.

A balcony area leads directly off of the main room, sporting spectacular views of the hustle and bustle of Swanston Street below. The relaxed, open feel of the venue met with the loud mix of jazz and alternative rock means that the Martini in your right hand is highly unlikely to produce any delusions of superiority.

The venues toilets are easily found to the right of the bar, and in continuing with the blackboard barter look, a scribble of chalk leads the way for both men and women.

Although it's a Monday night, the venue boasts array of different demographic drinkers scattered across the venue. From caffeine junky uni jumpers to office worker wankers, this bar seems to have it all. Whether it be post-work drinks on a Monday, mid-lecture cocktails on a Tuesday or binge drinking beers on a Saturday, this venue has aptly earned it's title as the true 'cross-over' bar of Melbourne since establishment in 1989.

Whatever limp legged purpose your body is leaning towards, Lounge Bar provides you with the freedom to carry out every type of relaxation routine possible in the surrounds of a trendy tip top venue. Just leave your Biggest Loser obsessions behind, there's an array of sugar coated cocktails to be trialled after all.




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A 2nd Look @ Lounge Bar


By Matt Wilson

If you are in the city and looking for a place to drink up, grab something to eat, and have a good time, look no further than The Lounge on Swanston Street.

The entrance simply being a flight of stairs with a sign next to it can make it easy to miss, but these stairs also give the place a sense of mystery, enticing people on the street to enter to find out what is inside. If you get to The Lounge early enough, you can avoid having to put up with the standard annoying cross-examination bouncers can give and just simply walk up the stairs. The dress code isn't too strict, so there shouldn't be too many hassles in that department either.

After walking up the stairs, you will find a cross between a bar, a cafe, and a nightclub, filled with tables, a dance floor, a DJ booth and stage for bands, a pool table, and an undercover balcony with a sweet view of Swanston Street. While it is not a big area, you won't be cramped or squished in either. The bar is right in front of you as you walk in with friendly staff waiting to serve you a variety of reasonably priced drinks, as well as the menu of various types of main meals, snacks, and entrees for you to munch on before you properly start getting into the grog. It doesn't hurt that The Lounge has friendly waitresses who are easy on the eye and wearing tight white tops and short blue skirts serving you either.

The type of atmosphere The Lounge has depends on what day of the week you go. There are nights when live bands play their own music to you, and other nights when DJs whip out some chill out techno music that allows you to relax with your mates, but also lets you to get your groove on. The Lounge has been known to have celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Michael Hutchence, Tim Burton, and Bjork, to name but a few, come to hang out at The Lounge when they were in town, and international musical acts like Jeff Buckley, Groove Armada, Ice Cube, and many more have even performed there over the years, giving The Lounge a sense of classiness that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Open seven days a week, each day has a different vibe to it that makes The Lounge stand out from other nightspots and caters for a variety of different people who all want to have a good time and chill out. Whether you go just to have some dinner and drinks or to have a piss up with your mates on the weekend, you can be assured that you won't be disappointed.




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A 3rd look @ Lounge Bar


By Michelle Smart

Somewhat an interesting place, Lounge is the city centre for a non-existence cliche. Lounge is a morphing bar and nightclub where you will never be bored. While you head up the narrow staircase to level 1, it may seem like you're taking a trip down the rabbit hole.

Lounge has a casual laid back feel during the day, attracting a crowd of people from the overworked to the underpaid. It is also a great place for lunch, with cheap student snacks and after work nibbles. Make your way there Monday after 7. It's the best place to grab a meal worth more than the price - it's just $7 for a main meal with a drink. Whether you are wearing a suit and tie, sitting down to the cheap specialist beer or a ghetto style art drinking a clavier wine; you will find Lounge a very compliant place. Lounge has a regular line up of DJ's through the week so you are bound to encounter a selection of music to suit you and your mates.

As night approaches the crowd at lounge turns into a spontaneous party mode with inventive displays. You're bound to be interested in the morphing artistic displays for sale on the side walls. Projector screens seem to be able to paint the walls different colours each time you are there. Architecturally Lounge can be somewhat unsound if you are on the drunken path, the layout of stairs and platforms leading to the balcony are potential hazards for the intoxicated however it does provide a great dance floor.

Even the drink specials are constantly changing, which is great if you're after an education in alcohol, the staff will gladly recommend suggestions based on your tastes, wallet or adventurous suggestion of "just give me what you think is best". The cocktails list is an intensive range of classic and lounge special cocktails enough to get you through the whole night for around $15 to $18 you will find one goes a long way. If that isn't quiet what you're after you can choose from a wide selection of beers both tap, imported and bottled wines and shots which some very skilled bar staff can whip up while entertaining you.

Lounge is the place to finish up your night out; it's open to early hours of the morning past regular closing hours with little restrictions on dress or regulations. The casual atmosphere and sure fire staff is the best way to start and finish any outing for any reason. You're bound to relax Lounge's morphing atmosphere that even Alice in Wonderland would sit up a wonder in.

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