Being home to some of Melbourne’s less conspicuous bars, a Friday night in Abbotsford lends itself to exploring the city’s most unique and untouched venues.
The perfect starting point is Moon Dog Brewery & Bar, tucked away in Abbotsford’s industrial quarter with stark remnants of the area’s working-class origins still visibly present. Upon entering you are confronted with dated chairs and bar stools that appear to have somehow survived the test of time, but yet complement the venue’s surroundings perfectly. A classic no frills approach, rather a focus on quality beers and pizza make this place worth exploring.
The opportune time to now ‘walk off’ your pizza, as you appropriately meander past the mother of all breweries, Carlton United, further refuelling your quench to sample the next lager on offer as you make your way to The Retreat Hotel. A dated exterior and over 100 years old, at first glance this place looks uninviting, if not closed. However, as you step through the front door you are quickly taken in by the warm and cosy atmosphere that is a throwback to the typical corner style pub from yesteryear. One of the rare pubs these days that still serves your standard basic beers, take a moment to sit at the bar and watch the musings going on around you.
Still revelling from this time warp experience, and before you can extradite yourself to the present, make your way around the corner and step inside The Yarra Hotel to enjoy the livelier atmosphere. Your more typical Abbotsford establishment- grungy, live music, no beers you recognise on tap, and full of character, this place is the perfect tonic to step it up a notch. Allegedly the 14th best destination for Tinder dates (says local barman), but don’t let that put you off, “The Yazz” (as it is affectionately known by locals) is the perfect lead in to your next and final venue.
Dr Morse is one of the more popular bars/cafes/restaurants in the area, and it’s easy to see why. Humble café by morning, lively atmosphere by lunch, followed by buzzing nightlife with; DJ, fairy lights, and a generally young and hip crowd all in tow. Be sure to sample one of the many craft beers on tap (just make sure it’s not the $18 one- unless old money bags is buying), and finish off your Abbotsford Friday night in style.