Welcome to Bedrock in the heart of Melbourne. The Carlton, being slap-bang in the centre of the city, has always been a favourite with after-work drinkers, travellers who notice the stairs and late-night revellers.
Sometimes, however, friends were freaked by the taxidermy animals of the first floor and lacked the motivation to climb the five flights of stairs to Palmz. There’s now a new solution: Hasti Bala.
Located on the third floor this is an over-the-top, jungle-inspired haven from the street below. Purple velour booths are shaded by thickets of fake greenery; fluoro leopard-print wallpaper and carpet almost necessitates indoor shades. You’ll notice a somewhat large elephant overlooking the room (OK, so you can’t really get away from the stuffed creatures), but the bar’s name means “elephant power” in Yoga Sutra so we guess you just have to make room for one.
There’s also a deck and bamboo bar out the back, plenty of cocktails and a sound system designed for boogieing, although, as discovered at the launch party, you’ll need to improvise sans an actual dance floor.
Level 3, The Carlton, 193 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000
(03) 9663 3246