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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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M

Name:Tiki Lounge and Bar, Melbourne, Australia
Type:bar
Street:327 Swan Street, Richmond
City:Melbourne
State:Victoria
Zip:3121
country:Australia
Phone:(+61 3) 9428 4336
Status:operational

Description:
Reasonably sized Lounge-style bar. Semi-converted Dance Studio. Bar has a large dancefloor surrounded by small curtained booths where floor shows are performed by the proprietor and his dance partner or guest artists. The whole dance floor is seperated from the main lounge area by large curtains.

The Lounge area itself is filled with retro vinyl furniture, and is watched over by a nicely stocked bar with a reasonable selection of Rums (for an Australian bar :( ) . The bar itself has a number of tiki mugs imported from overseas in which the drinks are served (one of the only bars in Melbourne that serves drinks in tiki mugs). There are several Moai of varying sizes around the venue, and a small, but growing, library of Tiki/tropical books for the perusal of customers.

[ Edited by: milligna 2006-10-05 23:39 ]

[ Edited by: milligna 2006-10-05 23:39 ]

M

I tried to keep my description above as objective as possible coz I work in this bar!

I'm a fairly new convert to Tiki - I've been into it for about 2 years, and I've been into Cocktails for much longer, more as a home bar hobby than working in a fully fledged venue (I'm often referred to by cocktail bartenders as "that annoying tiki-obsessed cocktail geek" :D). Due to my well known tastes, when the owners of Melbourne's Tiki Lounge and Bar were looking for someone to mix drinks for them, several local bartenders told them that I would be perfect.

I got in touch with Dave and Dianne (Argentinian Dance specialists and owners of Tiki Lounge and Bar), and was introduced to their bar. It's got such a great vibe - pretty much everything has been scavanged or lovingly hand-built by these two, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

Throwing modesty to the wind, I have to say I'm very proud of the drinks we produce - Dave has been more than willing to let me bully him into buying premium ingredients, and I think our cocktails are not only great tasting, but great value considering the top-notch alcohol and fresh fruit going into them.

Our little library has got some pretty cool books (we've got Night of the Tiki, a copy of Hawaiian Dick, various other Oceanic art books, and south Pacific novels all scrounged from second-hand markets where we can find them), and there's lots of cool stuff to keep your eyes busy.

We play a range of Exotica, bossa nova, Lounge and other random music, and we have floor-shows most weeks (last week we had an awesome burlesque-style performance from a local Hula Hoop dancer who has performed a few times at the bar).

Our bar is a very "Melbourne" bar - you have to know where to look, or be lucky to stumble upon a lot of Melbourne's quirky bars, but most of the time your curiousity will be rewarded with a unique and friendly experience.

Cheers,

Cocktail Kev.

P
Paipo posted on Fri, Oct 6, 2006 12:19 AM

Between Outre Gallery and this bar, it sounds like Melbourne is leading the tiki scene in Australia. Can you take some pics and put them up on Critiki?

M

I'll see what I can do :D

H
hewey posted on Sat, Oct 7, 2006 12:27 AM

Pics are good :) tiki in Oz is better :)

H
hmc posted on Thu, Oct 19, 2006 5:08 PM

On 2006-10-06 00:19, Paipo wrote:
Between Outre Gallery and this bar, it sounds like Melbourne is leading the tiki scene in Australia. Can you take some pics and put them up on Critiki?

And this one ;o)

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=18770&forum=2

M

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, but the bar I work at got a nice favourable review in the local broadsheet newspaper the other day - thought I'd share. http://www.theage.com.au/news/bar-reviews/tiki-bar-amp-lounge/2007/03/01/1172338777801.html

Over christmas we renovated and built a nice big bamboo bar with hardwood bartop. You can see the bar in the review photo.

Cheers,
Kev.

H
hewey posted on Sun, Mar 4, 2007 5:32 PM

Nice review :) The pic looks good, but you need to post some more!

M

Please tell me this place is still operational. I'm heading to Melbourne on business next week, and my hotel is just up the road from here! Being able to quaff a couple of tropical cocktails after work would be fabulous.

M

Hello there!

I've neglected this thread for far too long - Yes, Melbourne's only Tiki bar is operational, although closed until Jan 26 for renovations.

We've recently created a blog which we'll be updating regularly (http://tikiloungeandbar.com), and we have a myspace page (myspace.com/tikiloungebar).

Here are some of the long promised photos of the bar:







I'm gunna try to get some night time photos when we reopen. Hopefully I can do it justice when it's properly lit.

Cheers,
Kev.

[ Edited by: milligna 2008-04-02 19:30 ]

Accompanied by Ms Nouméa, I headed out into the wilds of suburban Melbourne to discover this watering hole last Saturday. The street address is 327 Swan Street, in the suburb of Richmond. From Flinders Street station downtown, take one of the various trains heading out to the eastern suburbs and get off at East Richmond station. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes and will cost you A$3.70 if you take the most expensive ticket, which is a one-way ticket. Return tickets work out slightly cheaper, and day tickets are substantially cheaper. If you find your train actually heads off in the opposite direction from what you expected, do not freak out - various trains ultimately heading eastwards turn off in the opposite direction and pass through what is called the City Loop, before heading back onto the eastern suburbs line. Listen to the platform announcement when you are boarding to see if they are going to send you through the Loop, and also listen out to hear what stations your train is not stopping at. For those who can't understand the Australian accent, the video monitors over the platform also show which stations each train stops at.

You can also take a tram from outside the Flinders Street station (Number 70 as I recall), which will take a bit longer, but costs the same. The tram runs along Swan Street, so there is less walking at the other end.

If you take the train, after getting off at East Richmond station, walk northwards about 30 yards up Church Street, then turn right and walk eastwards along Swan Street. It's a 15 minute walk to the bar. The bar itself is not on a stretch of Swan Street that offers much nightlife, so if you are looking for a feed prior to drinking, stop at one of the takeaways, cafés etc. near the East Richmond station, as there is not much in the way of eateries near the tiki bar itself, apart from a Greek café and an Indian takeaway further up the road and around the corner (turn left at the first intersection after the bar). I can vouch for the Indian takeaway there though (they have a couple of tables on the premises) - ask for the Railway Lamb!

It was a quiet night at the Tiki Bar & Lounge when we were there, although we did arrive quite early (about 8.30pm). It did give me a chance to take a few photos though.

Here is a night-time shot of the bar to supplement the existing daytime ones above:

The barman is a German guy, but he told Ms Nouméa that he was heading back to Germany in the next few days.

Here is another shot; of the hut alongside the bar:

It was a larger place than I expected and the room was split up into various sections. Here is some of the reading room section:

And here's a wider-angle shot that gives a better idea of what the room looks like generally:

More images to come (mainly of our drinks), once Ms Nouméa forwards them to me.

CN

Here are a couple of photos of the drinks I had, courtesy of Ms Nouméa.

The first one was the Ruapehu, which is named after an active volcano in the North Island of New Zealand. As I can see Mount Ruapehu from the bottom of my drive, I just HAD to try this one. The drink looked suitably fiery when it arrived:

And it took a long time to burn out, but I managed to avoid getting singed eyebrows.

Here is the description of the Ruapehu from their cocktails menu:

"Named after New Zealand’s largest active volcano, the Ruapehu is our complexly volcanic mix of rum, passionfruit and pomegranate grenadine. This explosive drink is finished in true Tiki Bar style with a bit of unnecessary pyrotechnics."

Another noteworthy drink I had was the Cone of Silence. Being a big fan of Get Smart when I was a kid, I couldn't not have this one either:

Menu description:

"Utilising forgotten ice manipulation techniques from Tiki bars of yore, we bring you our very own salute to bumbling 1960s secret agents everywhere. What spy would be able to resist this lime juice and feijoa vodka-based drink? Comes armed with a touch of Chartreuse liqueur, and packs a real judo-punch of flavour. Would you believe a kick to the shins? How about a flick on the ear and a harsh name-calling?"

CN

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