Crown Street is rapidly becoming a place where people can find alternatives to the usual production-line beer barns and less-than-glamorous clubs. As the popularity of the area rises, one has retained its cool feel: Café Lounge. A few doors down from Crown Street and a block from Oxford Street, it opened years before the other small bars in the area. The bar was seen as a leader in creating more experimental and retro décor with it’s internal tropical island theme, Edwardian paintings with matching furniture and semi-private areas. There are no clean architectural lines, no hard surfaces, no showiness or pretention. It’s just a cool place to hang out.
On busy nights, a DJ livens the mood playing anything from cruisey lounge music to funky upbeat tracks. Cocktails are decent, but not spectacular and hover around $17. Most wine-by-the-glass options are around $8-9, with about a dozen wines to try. For beer drinkers, most bottled beer will cost around $7-$8 or grab a can of Melbourne Bitter for just $6. If you’re starting your night early, drop in for $5 happy hours between 5-7pm, with $7 pizzas. Outside of happy hour, the main item on the food menu is pizza ($12), but a small selection of salads and other bar snacks are available.
In brief: Café LoungeBest things: Happy hour ($5 drinks, $7 pizza). Comedy night on Mondays Don't miss: Mulled wine on a winter’s night, late weekend afternoons in summer Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, dates Date tip: Couches in the two small rooms between the bar and main area. Gripe: Can get a bit too crowded and hot on busy nights. Rating:7/10
Last updated: November 2015
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