Bars and Nightclubs
St Kilda, Melbourne

Big Mouth Lounge Bar

168 Acland St, St Kilda, VIC
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A hideaway tucked up on the first floor with great views of the Acland Barkly St Precinct. This bar room is eclectic and warm, with a strong local bar culture, cold beer and a great wine list. The Lounge Bar does what a bar should do best, give good drink: This sexy and gracious upstairs room has windows on every side showing off the first floor views. Established in 1993 Big Mouth is an institution in itself, and it is often referred to as one of St Kilda’s many icons. Built in 1938 this grand Deco building was recently renovated and stands proud as one of the most gracious rooms in Melbourne. The high ceilings hold the original chandeliers; the walls are washed in soft Indian tea greens, sari pinks and reds. Gold glazes show off the Art Deco cornices and ceiling features. The space is as eclectic as its clientele, a mix of creatives, suits, tourists and St Kilda locals.

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Big Mouth Lounge Bar Review

Review By Holly Corns

“Big mouth, you have been silenced to the end of the street!” This is what I imagine the St Kilda Town Planners yelled sternly into their megaphones when deciding where to place such an unstipulated and eccentric venue. Although harsh, their decision (I’d like to think) was a superior one. Sitting on the periphery, Big Mouth still allows you to be an ingredient in the Acland concoction without getting your hair too wet. Basically, if you want a funky little place to chill and you’re not ruling out the chance of becoming inebriated then demanding a dance off with anyone who looks like they are threatening your title as king on the dance floor… then this place is for you.

It’s 9.30pm, and my friend Lisa and I arrive. We join the small line beginning to form and find ourselves inside in less than two minutes. I am very pleased to discover that the usual blonde bimbo with way too much eyeliner on her top eyelids does not appear and does not ask for a ‘cover charge’ right before stamping my wrist with several unknown images… or are they words?

Once inside, I feel a strange warmth and leniency – yes, it could have been the heaters were on too high causing me to overheat and feel delirious but I believe it was a combination of the decor and atmosphere which caused such tranquillity.

Swirly, groovy art laced the walls, vintage chandeliers hung from the art deco roof, soft beats echoed from above. Hippyish? Yes – but very sophisticated. Bar stools lined the huge folding windows where people sat, chatted and sipped their drinks whilst surveilling the St Kilda passer bys (a.k.a. the freak show).

The faint beats I heard earlier were getting louder. The main source seemed to be coming from upstairs, which I didn’t even know existed. “Somewhere in this place is a dance floor,” I told Lisa “I think it’s upstairs, lets go”. We decided to order a drink before hitting the dance floor. Being cider-loving girls, we order two Bullmers $9.50 each. Not the cheapest cider but not too expensive. I feel even better about the price when the bar tender gives me a warm “enjoy” followed by a killer smile.

We sip our cider and look around the room. “What a weird crowd!” says Lisa. It was certainly weird, but not in a St Kilda hippy, druggy, man walking an alpaca down Acland street weird way. It was weird because there were people from all walks of life. Backpackers, locals, dolled up thirty year old women, men in suits (I always wonder if they have truly just come from an event or if they just want to look sharp for the ladies) and people just like us: twenty something year olds looking for a place to chill and have a bit of a boogie on a Saturday night.

We head upstairs and find what we have been looking for- a dance floor, a very small dance floor. Although congested, we join the go-getters and Lisa is even lucky enough to receive a sweaty armpit to her face from one of the dance floor kings. Fortunately, the music is fun – sort of your typical top 30 pop/R&B; – and we manage to laugh at the disturbing event that had just occurred.

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