Bars and Nightclubs
Fitzroy, Melbourne

The Rum Diary Bar

334 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC
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The Rum Diary breathes a new sense of fun into the Brunswick Street bar scene, and we’re guaranteed to make a Jamaican jealous with over 125 rums available. Formally the iconic Gypsy Bar, the space has been given a new lease on life with warm, recycled wood finishes and moody lighting to create a comfortable and imaginative drinking experience. We’re serving up the best of rum based cocktails using the finest products from around the world, including a rotating Cocktail On Tap made in house by our talented crew. And if you’re not a rum fan don’t dismay, we’ve a wide selection and our bar staff will provide you with a beverage to suit your tastes and style.

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What To Expect @ The Rum Diary Bar

Written by Michaela Scully

Specialised spirit bars are a big hit in Melbourne right now, especially if its a rum orientated bar in Fitzroy with a vague association with Johnny Depp films (i.e. Black Pearl). But with over 170 kinds of rums for you to set your sore eyes on, you’re sure to be there for a while.

The Rum Diary has a far more chilled atmosphere than its marketing of suggests – while it boasts as a “place for salty sailors, pirates and adventurers to enjoy the devils drink”, their customer base are suited to young professionals and hospitality staff who know their dark spirits beyond our friends Jack, Jimmy and Johnny.

Set in an intimate exposed-brick space, with mahogany furnishings and ’70s style pendant lamps lighting up the bar, it has a smart, relaxed feel to it. Although it gets pretty busy on the weekends, on this particular Tuesday night there were a handful of small groups and couples that made the experience actually quite enjoyable. On these nights, your best bet is to sit up at the bar – not only does this allow you to view the elaborate technique that goes to making your delicious cocktails, but it gives you a chance to talk your bartender about their selection, their personal recommendations and enjoy the beautiful bartender-patron rapport of light banter mixed with life wallowing; the best kind of cocktail. That’s what they’re for, right?

The menu is more like a novel, filled with annotations and descriptions of their most popular cocktails and with good reason: there are clearly a lot of them. I made the mistake of approaching the menu like I do with most tasks that should take consideration – a quick skim and then an impatient selection of the cocktail that had a cool name. ‘Penicillin 2.0’ had me coughing after the first gulp. I’ve never had the tastebuds to handle Laphroaig (a musky malt whisky that I always imagined Sean Connery would smell like) combined with a sour concoction that was a bit too intense for my first drink.

I’d recommend starting off with a dark and stormy if you’re gagging for your first post-work drink, Rum Diary’s are fucking delicious and not as polarising as some of the other cocktails. While you sit on that, actually take the time to explore other options on the menu, and select one that suits your own taste and mood. The drinks here aren’t cheap, with cocktails averaging $18+, but the quality is well worth the price.

With a soundtrack set to The Kinks, and the occasional blow-ins off Brunswick Street like ‘Scott’ who wouldn’t stop telling us what a ‘positive vibe’ he had and how house music is ~the~ best music, like, ever, there’s a bit of kick in this low-key venue and it’s not just the rum.

The Rum Diary provides a unique experience amongst their Brunswick Street competitors, and is worth the stop.

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Captured At The Rum Diary Bar

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