Bars and Nightclubs
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Bimbo Deluxe

Corner Brunswick St and Rose St, Fitzroy
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Now on the brink of adolescence, this Brunswick Street bar has become a Fitzroy icon. For seven days of the week its offering of cheap pizza and unique entertainment can be called upon from midday until well into the early morning. $4 gourmet pizzas accompany a diverse range of beer, wine and spirits to be enjoyed amongst the lounges or in the rooftop courtyard. The warmer weather will see live bands take to the outdoor stage beneath Moroccan lights.

Within its walls has been forged an atmosphere of comfort matched with down-to-earth service and an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Make Bimbo Deluxe your inner city entertaining lounge room.

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Bimbo Deluxe Review

Review by Matthew Ricks

Some may remember the still-mourned live music bar the Punters Club, which was torn down and replaced with Bimbo Deluxe a few years ago. And so it was from the very beginning, Bimbo’s had some large shoes to fill and on the whole Bimbo’s resurrection has an atmosphere and feel as fun as its name suggests.

Situated on Brunswick St in Fitzroy it is among many vibrant and exciting clubs and bars that the area has to offer that provides an attractive alternative to CBD carousing.

Entry is free and once admitted you are immediately greeted by a sizeable and healthily stocked round bar which hosts reasonably priced pints for $8, pots for $4.50, house wine for $7.50 as well as 10 different cocktails from around $18. The bar also offers all your spirit favorites but isn’t perfect as it is a little understaffed.

The lower floor exhibits a comfortable setting with an array of furniture that affords a group of friends to mingle in an intimate setting. If you prefer something more energetic there is also a DJ area and seven days a week you can find some of Melbourne’s finest mixing an array of music styles from Hip Hop to Disco, House and techno and Rock.

Bimbo’s also has a rather unique and welcoming eating area on the other side of the bar that is perfect after you’ve chugged a couple of soups. The eating area offers a wide range of delicious $4 pizzas that are served between 7-11pm Sunday to Thursday and 7-9pm Friday and Saturday. The pizzas are boutique style with many quirky and delectable selections including an assortment of desert pizzas such as the Apple, Almonds, Mascarpone and Cinnamon pizza – a true companion to a glass of white. If pizza, DJs and couches aren’t your bag, perhaps you’ll feel more relaxed up on the second level.

The second level offers a bar with an enthusiastic selection of ciders and a beer garden with plenty of tables and chairs in a verdant setting. The beer garden is wonderfully secluded from the hustle and bustle of Brunswick St and could almost be treated as a separate venue to the level below it.

There’s also a more intimate room with couches but it is slightly cramped and the disintegrating and toxic colored wallpaper that may be euphemistically described as ‘rustic,’ is actually something out of a Hunter S. Thomson novel.

Bimbo’s second level is comfy and tasteful but it comes at a price as it hosts the only bathroom in the entire place, which is unfortunate considering all the stair hopping that is required from the bottom floor.

The atmosphere of Bimbo’s is one of coziness mixed with a down-to-earth attitude in a bohemian styled décor. Most patrons are aged from early 20s to early 30s and it is truly a user-friendly hangout that is perfect for both enjoyment until the 3am close or for the beginning of a Brunswick St barhopping session.

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A Second Review of Bimbo Deluxe

Review by Julia Gailey

The giant Cupie doll that adorns Bimbo’s roof is like an iconic Totem of Brunswick St; you can see it from afar as the tram approaches, heralding the stop for Bimbo Deluxe bar and club.

Somehow Bimbo’s has managed to establish itself as both a venue you would bring a relative to on their first trip to Melbourne, and that place you drop in to when your weekly pay packet has been reduced to shrapnel.

Bimbos’ main attraction is its $4 pizzas – available Sunday to Thursday 7-11pm, weekdays 12-4pm and Saturdays 7-9pm.DJs and a dance floor from Thursday to Sunday allows Bimbo’s to be described as one of Fitzroy’s night clubs, attracting a predominate crowd of under thirties. However, Bimbo’s also accommodates a range of ages, as well as tourists and locals.

The main drawback of a visit to Bimbo’s is being required to “hawk” (as I call it) for a table during night-time special hours. Maybe not the best place to bring a first date, table hawking is sure to increase awkwardness.

Nevertheless, you can avoid these situations by going in the day time, or becoming a member for $10 to enjoy discounted pizza anytime, and Monday drink specials.

I’ve heard many people suggest that Bimbo’s inflates their drink prices to cover the cost of the pizza; this to my experience is a myth. Look to the neighbours, and you’ll find Bimbo’s drink prices are no more expensive than your average Brunswick St bar.

The paint on Bimbos’ exterior is crumbled, and cracked reminiscent of an abandoned building. Inside, the decor makes you feel you have stumbled upon the untouched remains of a quirky hoarder’s house hold. Each visit will reveal something new, from the tangled mass of fairy lights that over run the ceiling, like creepers that haven’t been maintained, the jumble of artefacts behind the bar, or shoes stuck on the ceiling.

Once the novelty wears off, downstairs can feel a bit musty and gloomy for regular visits. I would recommend taking a seat at the rooftop bar. It is adorned with colourful, intricately patterned lanterns, which at night time make this the most beautiful, and free experience on offer at Bimbos.

Bimbo’s is not fine dining; you may have to circle the venue before you get a table, which will most likely be wobbly or stained. However, this works with the ‘field day at the trendiest tip ever’ decor. Atmospherically it is a pleasant place, most people are happy to get a pizza for $4 – and, surprisingly, they actually taste pretty good.

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Our Third Review of Bimbo Deluxe

Written by Indah Da Silva

We head out to Bimbo Deluxe on a Saturday night. ‘Bimbo’ is the Italian word for baby, and one can spot the giant neon bub that adorns the side of the building from a mile away. The old, worn building located on Brunswick Street is very characteristic of the effortlessly cool North Fitzroy area, which has plenty of exciting bars and clubs to explore.

Bimbo’s is open every day of the week from midday until 3am. There’s an array of DJs playing every night who play anything from disco to rock and everything in between. Tonight, Bimbo promises some ‘Hot Steppin’’ tunes to dance the night away. I’m ready.

The first thing I notice when we enter is that the place is completely empty. The second thing I notice is that there is a light aircraft sitting lopsided in the corner. It’s a real plane! There a mismatched, op-shop couches everywhere. Odd pieces of art and little bits and bobs are scattered around the bar. The walls are a deep red colour, which reminds me of a boudoir from Moulin Rouge, although it’s a little more grungy than sexy. It’s dingy, but kind of cosy despite the emptiness of the bar.

The drinks are reasonably priced for the inner city area. House wine is $7.50 per glass, pots go for $4.50, pints $8. There is a selection of cocktails that are about $18, if you’re feeling fancy.

Upstairs there is a huge rooftop terrace, and despite being the middle of winter, the place is packed. This seems like the hang out spot for people under 30. A couple sitting next to us are sharing a pizza. Bimbo’s is known for its $4 pizzas, available from 7-11pm Monday–Thursday and 7-9pm on Saturday and all day Sunday. They also offer dessert pizza, if you feel like something sweet. I’m dying to try one, so we order a Margarita to share. It’s amazing, as promised.

After 11pm, there is no drinks on the terrace, so we have to head downstairs. When we make our way down, it is completely different than when we first arrived. It’s almost wall to wall, and we have to squeeze around people just to get to the bar. We get our drinks pretty quickly despite the long line. There’s deep house beats coming from the little plane in the corner, and I can see the DJ standing inside the cockpit. It’s reminiscent of a club that goes until Monday morning, not of a dingy bar on a Saturday night. People seem to be enjoying it because we struggle to find a place to dance.

My first experience at Bimbo’s was different than what I imagined. Bimbo’s pizza has certainly lived up to its high expectations, and I’ll definitely come back for the cheap prices, but also for laid back vibe. I did not expect the tunes to be so funky, which is definitely another reason to come back. Before you go, just a fair warning; the kitchen closes at 2am, so plan your drunk munchies accordingly.

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