Three Bars with a Rock’n’Roll Soundtrack in Melbourne

Town Hall Hotel North Melbourne, 33 Errol Street.

Let’s begin with The North Melbourne Town Hall Hotel; a pub that defies the inner city suburb’s continual wave of gentrification – a venue that keeps its rock’n’roll heart on its sleeve as much as it does on its sticky carpet. The no frills and plenty of spills means what you see is what you get here in the capable hands of publican Jonathan Collins – aka Johnny who has steered this beastly delight since 1999. The Townie as it is affectionately dubbed by locals; is where you come for the music and memorabilia; there’s plenty of band tour posters, vinyl and figurines on the mantel [Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister yes!] and rock posters to keep your eyes wandering for days. The live bands are making a post-pandemic comeback too with a new band booker at the ready. It helps that the husband and wife who run the pub – Johnny and Carly are rock lovers through and through – they once had their mates Warped perform on the balcony in 2017, blasting wah-wah mayhem onto Errol Street for a street party nod to how we partied old school in the 90s. More recently, Melbourne punks Civic played here before they went on their US tour. Johnny’s love of all the classics from The Rolling Stones to The Cramps, Television, MC5 and Wanda Jackson means your ears are in for the best treat when you come in for a drink and meal. The food menu is huge and hits the mighty spot – think pub classics like a parma and plenty for vegans too. It’s a destination that attracts rock royalty as it does the new locals who are giving the inner north a go. Let it be known the Townie isn’t trying to impress anyone, it’s about as DIY as it gets and it’s always the music that helps you feel right at home.  The courtyard out back is popular, and a side laneway also makes a perfect hang.  Don’t tell your friends, tell your friends. No dickheads allowed.

Lulie Tavern 225 Johnston Street, Abbotsford.

This northside live music venue comes with a kick ass roof top bar for all your inner wild rock’n’roll needs. And what’s not to love about a rooftop bar that takes its name from a Tom Petty album – Full Moon Fever. Free Fall into the arms of this Abbotsford retreat for all the high fives and high kicks you need to find your music loving citizens. We love the bar and its staff because they also appreciate the power of good music, it makes the drinking experience all the more enjoyable doesn’t it? No shuffle playlists as after-thoughts cued here; instead the mood is righteously set by those who live and die by the sword of those about to rock, and for that, we salute you.


Wowee Zowee Bar, 35 Main Street, Mornington.

A bar named after Pavement’s third studio album of the same name is reason enough to make Wowee Zowee Bar a curious pitstop. This Mornington Peninsula bar is a much-loved local dive destination for those stationed south-side and a detour worth taking if you’re  heading down the coast. Run by a group of music loving business partners, including Something for Kate’s drummer, Clint Hyndman, it’s as much about the music as it is about the Americana detail within – from the menu to the drinks list that clings to a bygone era of rollicking cool. There’s music from the 60s and 70s spinning – while burgers. wings and other sticky finger staples are also idea for soaking up the booze.



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