Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne South, Melbourne

Revolver Upstairs

229 Chapel St, Prahran, VIC
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Ultimately your enjoyment of Revolver depends on a number of variables – music, crowdedness, light levels – but if you can ignore the hype (positive and negative) and look for a venue that is relaxed and, in its own funny way, stylish, this is one institution that long ago earned its stripes and continues to come up with the goods.

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Revolver Upstairs Review

Review By Sophie Lane

The infamous Chapel Street’s Revolver, or ‘Revs’ as regular ravers of the less savoury kind so fondly refer, is infamous Melbourne-wide for providing open arms at any time of the night, or more accurately morning. As I stumble towards Revolver (not ‘Revs’, I’m not unsavoury) at 7am I find that entering a bar while birds are cheerily chirping and MacDonald’s breakfast is sloppily served is an out of body experience in itself. Upon entrance I see a woman pole dancing with a 1970’s style light shade and decide that I won’t be needing whatever she took in order to see Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

A room full of mismatched furniture, orange lighting and passed out political princes of tomorrow leaving a tangled web of smashed glasses across a heavily stained floor is an overwhelming first impression. It’s not all drunk dungeons and dragons though, on the contrary Revolver presents a lack of drinking and more a haven of restoration for those who went too hard a few hours earlier.

Bar prices are standard leaning towards pricey, and it’s obvious that for anyone who can afford to fuel intoxication on the street’s of Melbourne until 7am and still return to the bar for a drink, money is no object.

As I make my way through to the ladies room (or should I more aptly name it the ‘pass out room’?), the interior architecture and designs of Revolver become strikingly apparent. High as a kite ceilings illustrate the feelings of those around me, as poster patched wallpaper remind me of my bedroom walls. Furniture is strewn across every wall and corner, and I begin to feel as though I’ve stepped into a parallel universe op shop where old women working for the Salvos are actually table top dancing twenty year olds exhausting their last amounts of energy before midday.The hallway leading to the bathroom is crowded and almost overbearing, and before I let myself answer the rhetorical self talk question “Why are both the men’s and women’s toilets crowded?”, I see a man walk out with one too many sniffs and a trace off white powder across his chequered chest. So the crowded men’s toilets weren’t a case of camp comrades wanting some one on one, but rather a case of “let’s be discreet in drug taking, even though we know everyone here is off their chops”.

There’s a certain lack of oxygen throughout Revolver, and it seems that the majority of Smoking Sally’s head down the giant staircase and onto Prahan’s Chapel Street for a smoke and a slouch. If fresh air is something you’re looking for at 8am on a Sunday morning, Revolver will have you going round and round and round on a search for such precious gold.

Revolver provides a wacked out waiting room for those who enjoy spending those precious hours before Melbourne’s Metro trains start up again doing the dirty deeds they love. Although my experience was of the sober variety, the hilarity of the intoxication of those around me was enough to have me leaving on a high all of my own.

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A 2nd Revolver Upstairs Review

By Kat Pollard

Oh Revolver. You really are Melbourne’s dirty little secret. You love it, hate it or are completely freaked out by it. It’s not a venue that’s for the light hearted, some would describe it as an illicit playground, and others would call it an artistic wonderland. Either way, no one can deny that the place is amazing in terms of creating a vibe like no other.

As the trend goes with Melbourne’s best places, there are stairs. Revolvers stairs are like a silent challenge, if you make it up them with no dramas on a weekend you deserve to have the $15 cover change wavered. Most people struggle to make the distance about 6am-7am on a Sunday morning, which is Melbourne’s trashiest time. The club doesn’t close on the weekend, or at least it hasn’t while I’ve ever been there and I’ve once stayed there for 12 hours, so I guess I should know.

And now kiddies for the grand tour, while you may struggle to locate the venue, look for the small cue in between the drum and fruit shop. Take note of the fruit shop; you’ll need to remember it later on. The security has a wicked sense of door bitch policy, my favourite is the man covered from head to toe in tatts. He’s a darling deep down but if he thinks you’ve fried your brain all weekend he might quiz you with times tables. The security is like the gatekeepers of this dirty underworld. Play nicely with them. Once you’ve climbed the stairs and payed the price ($15 from Sat night-Sunday arvo) you’ll walk through the hall of ‘mind confusing lighting’ and turn right.

Pat yourself on the back, you’ve made it this far, close your eyes and say your prayer, cause baby you’ve made it up the stairs. On your right you’ll walk past the toilets. It’s the bonding ground for pointless conversations, throwing up or flushing all the evidence when the police do walkthroughs. To your left you’ll notice pinball machines, don’t stare at them too long, they suck you in. Then in a midst of sweaty bodies, DJ decks and garage sale furniture you’ll discover why Melbourne takes so much pride in being the trashy city. The bar at the back is amazing, filled with impressive paraphernalia and some interesting looking bartenders. The couches are filled with lost souls wanting to connect on a deeper level and the dance floor is wherever the feet can find space. The music showcases some of the best skills that Melbourne can get their hands on and you’ll want to rock the living hell out of every song. It’s a spiritual awakening sharing that amount of fun with complete strangers. When you leave you’ll want to remember that fruit shop I mentioned, but don’t leave till the entry is free. There is strictly NO pass outs.

As you leave you’ll notice a thick sticky icky all on the soles of your shoes, you’ve been branded by the club. Don’t fight it. And to think that during the week it’s one of the yummiest Thai restaurants on Chapel.

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A 3rd Review of Revolver Upstairs

Review by Lindsey Knight

You’ll find Revs on Chapel Street, in-between Greville and High Street.It’s the kind of place that you show up at 8am Sunday as apposed to Fridayor Saturday Evening. The placed is scarcely closed for more than a handfulof hours throughout the week. It’s the type of place that gives one theimpression that it has something for everyone, being a restaurant, club andvenue for live music.

The best time to go to Revs for the clubber is in through the day inSaturday to Sunday evening. Generally with a $15 entry fee, however if youcome in after 8am on a Sunday you should get in for free. Drink prices arepretty typical for a Chapel Street Venue, although the trained eye willfind that most of the people are not drinking at all, intoxicated onvarious other illegally obtained substances. I’d describe the music asfunky tech house, a very cool sound to be avoided by mainstream enthusiastsat all costs. If you are the kind of person that likes going to Billboardsor Fusion, then I really wouldn’t recommend going to Revs – the shock couldkill you.

Upon walking up the stairs on a Sunday morning, you are met with an openspaced room with lounge room chairs and fancy lamps. There are even a coupleof arcade pin ball machines against a wall, the wide strata of youngregular clubbers litter the room dancing entranced on drugs as the sunslips through the cracks in the blinds that keep light out from the windowson the length of the eastern wall. You will find young clubbers on Sundaywho have been going since Thursday passing out on the furniture thatspreads across the main room that becomes a restaurant at different hours.

If you have spent all your money through the night or nights before andcannot produce the entry fee for Tramp Jungle, then this is the place foryou to head.

The place has an almost old school vibe, the work of local andinternational artists hang on the mottled paint walls. The lighting isalways dim, but the interior throughout the club is very cool, almost likea 1950s smoking den. Bouncers are surprising friendly and turn a blind eyeto some of the mischief that goes on throughout the venue. Sometimes youcan become convinced that there are no staff employed at Revs, but then aglassy zigzagging between teenagers so far away from reality catches thecorner of your weary eyes.

It has a brilliant smokers area, tucked down a couple of flights of staresout the back, open to the sky but fenced off from the rest of the world.One becomes quickly shocked as they walk out into the world coming from thedark and decrepit strange world that is Revs, and is blinded by sun light. You try so hard to convince yourself it isn’t true, but you have justcome out of Revolver in the early afternoon.

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Captured At Revolver Upstairs

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