Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne

Cherry Bar

ACDC Ln, Melbourne, VIC
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Opening in 1999, tucked away down one of the CBD’s intriguing little alleyways, Cherry is Melbourne’s first authentic Rock bar, showcasing some of the greatest rock and soul music from the past half a century. Regular DJs spin everything from 50s style Northern Soul right through to modern contemporary Rock n’ Roll, with a weekly timetable that is sure to have something for everyone. Cherry is one of Melbourne’s more alluring bar experiences, leaving you wanting more cherry’ baby yeah! With a wide variety of brews, New Zealand’s Monteith’s, England’s Newcastle Brown Ale, to name but two, and a plethora of local & European drops, Cherry bar is the beer drinker’s delight.

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Cherry Bar Review

Review by Jessica Miesels

If you’re locking for a place to get a cherry flavoured pie, you’re at the wrong venue, my friend. But if you’re in the mood for some swing and soul and need to get to bed early (as in, the early hours of the morning) then its time to shake all night long at AC/Dc Lane’s Cherry Bar this Thursday night!

Ok, let’s get the downer part over with quickly – the cost of entry (at around $7) is less than that kebab you’ll be inhaling later, and drink prices are pretty standard. However there are regular specials, such as $4 Jager shots or the chance to win free prizes (last time, dog tags and caps, check it), which gives the bar a bit more pizzazz and makes the whole drinking experience a little more fun (because you know, it was so boring before…)

Upon entry (there will a standard queue which is a good sign, but shouldn’t taken longer than 15 minutes) you’ll be met with a mixed bag: mainly young folk under 24, some oldies, indie kids, jazz cats and the lone bearded dude in a long leather jacket dancing to the beat of his own drum. You can dress yourself up mildly (I’ve heard suits are shooed away!) but you don’t have to, which gave the place more of a chilled, fun atmosphere, I suppose in order to protect its ‘dingy but not really’ street-cred. They also didn’t do the standard ‘let 100 females in while all the guys chill outside so no-one will be buying any drinks’ philosophy, which, and this is coming from a woman, was refreshing.

Thursdays rock a soul night, which means you’ll get anything from contemporary Stevie Wonder to old-school Ray Charles. There may be times when you’ll be cursing yourself for not sitting with mum and listening to her old record collection so you could now sing along, but the DJ offers a pretty rounded taste to keep all soul lovers at bay. The d-floor is packed enough to not be lame whilst still giving you space to rock a Grande jete if you so desire. The stage and its glittering red curtains also become available for dancing in the wee hours, should you have the desire to practise for your upcoming X-factor audition.

Whilst recovering from being on your feet dancing the last 4 hours away, take a chance to sit with your friends on the side benches across from the bar and watch your slightly intoxicated friends sing along to The Blues Brothers. As the venue is not on the humongous side (capacity sits at 200), it is easy to find your friends between either the side bar (with its own jukebox to boot!) or dance floor.

The bar is also known to host both advertised and secret gigs on any given night between Tues-Sun, as well as keeping to its soul roots. So go on…have another cherry.

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A Second Review of Cherry Bar

Review by James McCafferty

Think The Cavern Club, the small Liverpool cellar where the Beatles used to play, and you’ve already got the Cherry Bar vibe.

Located down AC/DC lane, a small alley adorned with posters of Jim Morrison and other such rock icons, Cherry Bar brings out the rock n’ roll in all of us. With constant live shows, good service, well priced drinks and a pumping dance floor, saying Cherry Bar is the best rock bar in Melbourne is an understatement. One visit and you’ll be a regular for life.

So, what actually makes the bar so special? Well, I would simply put it down to the crowd.

Most real rock n’ roll bars I’ve been to in my life have attracted an older crowd who still revel in the nostalgia of their favorite childhood bands. I mean, it is the closest thing you can get to seeing music legends that are now in their fifties without having to fight your way through a crowd of 200,000 people.

But Cherry Bar manages to attract the young and energetic. The average age is early twenties, if not lower. Actually, one of the bands I saw looked like they were fifteen. Except the bassist, who had a beard worthy of a forty year-old.

Time for a visual tour.

After getting passed the line, a visitor passes the coat rack then enters a doorway facing the bar conveniently placed so you can buy a drink straight away. As they approach, to the right is the dance floor and to the left is a hallway leading to the toilets. There is also another room past the toilet, but I’ve never seen anyone go there and have no idea what it is.

The place is dimly lit, by orange-red lights and a spotlight illuminates the stage. Next to the bar are seats and sofas for everyone to relax and in front of the stage is a lowered dance floor.

When there aren’t any bands playing, a constant stream of The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, etc. keeps the dance floor rocking out as they’re looked over by a large poster of McJagger. Whenever dancing fuel is running low, shimmying over to the bar isn’t going to require the smashing of anyone’s piggy bank. Pots range from $5 to $7, shots are normally a healthy $8 and everything else follows the same kind of price range. Entry is either free or $10 depending on who’s playing.

Really, it’s everything I’ve ever asked for on a Friday night. With strong free love vibes pulsing through the air and cheap enough booze that the fifty bucks I can hardly spare anyway gets me swaying, Cherry Bar is a Melbourne hotspot you just don’t want to miss.

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