Bars and Nightclubs
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Bar Open

317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC
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Open every day ’til late live music/entertainment/performance art gallery/exhibition space upstairs cosy open fire place sunny courtyard. One of the older bars in Fitzroy, Bar Open is extremely friendly, with live music and regular screenings of lesser known films. If you are looking for a bar with something different, this is the place for you.

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Bar Open Review

Review by Kyla Woods

An interstellar cloud of gas and dust fuse together to materialize a luminous setting that intrigues and invigorates those who pass by. Known as Bar Open, this venue breathes thought, encompasses freedom and transcends the boundaries of materialistic ideals.

Bar Open, located on Brunswick St in Fitzroy, combines a bohemian utopia with an avant-garde collection of artistic collaborations – live music to paintings and installations circulate perpetually through the two story venue.

Open from Monday to Sunday, the various paroxysms shift the dynamics of Bar Open. The clutter of the universe seemingly inhabits the first level – beer kegs, fairy lights, Edwardian lounges and recherché trinkets surround the alcohol dispensary as well as the open fireplaces.

Follow the yellow brick road down to the beer garden and you will find that Bar Open is a pillar of creation. The iconoclasts, revolutionaries and academics utilize this space for philosophical discussion whilst passively smoking in conjunction with the articulation of thoughts. Usually crowded with ideas and visions, this area embodies a minimalist approach with concerns to furnishings.

The upper level of Bar Open also has a minimalist approach, dedicating its exiguous state to the function of band room and exhibition area – each facet of this venue is comprised of broken timber, chipped painted brickwork and caliginous carpet.

During the week, Bar Open hosts a variety of events catering to each and all of Melbourne’s varying sub-cultures. Every Monday night Screen Sect, an underground film society, holds a movie night, where ‘obsessively loved and criminally neglected cult classics’ are exhibited. Entry is gained through membership. A modest $5 allows patrons to indulge in intellectually stimulating conversation, enjoy a beverage or two and kick back to motion pictures that go against the grain.

Tuesday evenings provide a macrocosm of dexterity – improvised music and sound performance embodying the essence of zenithal sound exploration inhabit the upper floor. Both local, interstate and international artists collaborate in these weekly performances in an effort to facilitate a community for musicians.

From Wednesday to Sunday, Bar Open provides the locals, backpackers and scholars with a place to sojourn. Calton, Guiness and Bulmers all readily flow from the tap at a notably inexpensive price. House wine is also abundant, along with spirits and an assortment of unusual cocktails.The weekends are prone to an inundation of individuals from all walks of life, thus it is advisable to grab a seat (or beer keg) upon entry. Bar open caters to all age groups and utilizes its refreshing atmosphere to provide a friendly environment.

There are also monthly events held (refer to website or alternatively contact the venue) – Babble, a congregation administered for poets, writers and those creatively inclined, exhibit uniquely curious ways of manipulating the spoken word.

All in all, it is an unprecedented rarity to uncover an entity that shies away from the conventional – instead relying on shared ideals of reconnaissance with concerns to art and music.

Bar Open, as a venue, allows patrons to forge friendships through dialect. It is a dimension of diversity intertwined with a supportive and stable environment, rendering it a coterie for all to enjoy.

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A Second Review of Bar Open

Review by Jessica Meisels

Feel like a boogie? Or maybe just a drink? Maybe an outdoor night is more your thing? Whatever the occasion, Bar Open can accommodate.

Located in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, you will be met by surprisingly friendly bouncers who are happy to wish you a good night on your way in. Don’t get irate if they comment on your ID photo, it’s all part of the fun (note to self: maybe time to move on from the pic in your school uniform).

Putting you in the mood, you are greeted by a sea of faces in the 22-27 age mark, that are generally dressed nicely but not too formal (I wouldn’t cruise inside rocking thongs though, just in case!). The crowd is a little mixed, either recent uni grads or entry-level workers, but the venue is definitely a place to relax, have fun and if you like, go upstairs to shake your tail feather.

Drink prices are generally a little cheaper, vodka was around the $6.50-$7.50 mark, and most beers and cider are on offer at reasonable prices. Water is available to free pour both up and down stairs, and service is generally quick. Don’t make the mistake of asking for a cocktail or daiquiri; this isn’t a swanky lounge and does not pretend to be. The inside décor follows on from this vibe, as it first appears as a cosy nook of a place, complete with a burning fire and inviting red couches to boot. But do not be swayed, this is no country inn.

After cruising upstairs from the relatively cosy bar down below, you will find a spacious stage filled with dancing and music, rocking anything from reggae to salsa. Bar Open is known for its live music scene, so this is predominantly the place where you want to shake your groove thing. With the band snugly nestled in the corner, you can choose to dance along either at the feet or parallel on a heightened stage made just for you. It can be a little hard to hear with the smashing of drums and stamps of dancers gone wild, so cruise downstairs if you are interested in something a little more intimate, or a quieter atmosphere.

Keen to get a bit of fresh air after your dance workout? Head back downstairs, and outside you will be welcomed by a menagerie of fairy lights, where on weekends you may fight for a place to sit underneath the twinkling of the night sky. This breezy beer garden is a mystical little treasure that provides both bench-style and regular side-seating, so can be perfect for a large group or just the two of you. So get going, the Bar’s Open!

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