So, yeah. Dating is scary. Unless you're part of that one zillionth percent of the population that is a total gun at making first impressions, chances are the art of courting evokes in you sweaty palms, nervous laughter, and awkward stories that you realise only too late have absolutely no point or punch line. Yep, there's nothing like dating to make singledom suddenly seem oh so sensational.
But it doesn't need to be like this! If you think about it, all you need to calm those dating jitters is someone on your side, to have your back, and help you shine. Really, all you need is a wingman. And what's even better than one wingman? A duo of wingmen – or wingpeople, if you're wanting to get PC about it. Actually, the best thing for you is this new fangled thing called Winger, which will even shout you your first round of liquid courage.
But making friends raises a pressing question… Where should you and your newfound posse go in this crazy town? Where can you be sure your rowdy but loveable group will be able to grab a table, and not have to scream to be heard over the noise masquerading as music? Where can you go, in this couple-centric city, with a group of friends? Well, fear not, Listers! Feast your eyes on Melbourne's best bars for group drinks.
Craft beer, phenomenal pizzas, and a warehouse setting with nifty booth seating. Need we say more? Brunswick Street's Little Creatures is a sure fire crowd pleaser that's made for group drinks – seriously, we guarantee your entire gang will love it. Little Creatures Geelong is also well worth the visit if you want to get your road trip on.
Soak up the sun and the atmosphere in this new(ish) Johnston Street recruit. One of our fave bars for group drinks in Melbourne, Dr Morse's fabulous (and sizeable) beer garden out back and exposed concrete and timber interior make it a winner inside and out. The Dr Morse menu is also killer (we're looking at you, spiced chicken wings).
Sometimes, a beer just won't cut it. Thankfully, White Oaks Saloon on Greville Street has your top shelf craving taste buds covered with a selection US-inspired cocktails and Tennessee sourced bourbons. Perfect for when you've got your fancy pants on (though, if you and your pals are out trawling for dates, you should always have your fancy pants on, just FYI…) It's an intimate space, perfect for smaller groups.
Considering they've been inspired by the old school drinking dens of the 1920s (those flappers sure knew how to have a good time!), it should really come as no surprise that The Noble Experiment is one of the best bars in Melbourne for group drinks. While they offer a full range of wine, beer, cider and spirits, it's the bottle and barrel aged cocktails that The Noble Experiment is famous for – don't be surprised if you and your gang can't stop at one!
This cool Chapel Street bar is deceptively small from the street, but venture deep inside and you'll find a brilliant courtyard out the back, just begging to entertain you and yours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus drinks, of course. Easy, peasy, Speakeasy.
One of Melbourne's newest, biggest and best bars for groups is this cavernous, buzzing, German, riverside beer hall. Munich Brauhaus is one of the few places you could head to with a huge group, and still manage to lose yourself in the crowd. If you do though, don't fret, just head to the bar and grab yourself another stein. One of your mates getting a bit too animated? Stuff a pork knuckle in his gob. The Yarra-adjacent location makes Munich the place to see and be seen this summer.
Moving to the bay, fantastic beachside bar, The Deck, offers ample sun-drenched tables with views of the always bustling Frankston beach. If you can snag a table on a Sunday afternoon, don't move. This is prime real estate, and it's bound to draw some attention your way…
The most decadent and fun spot for group drinks in Fitzroy has to be Rice Queen. The Oriental-inspired fit out is drop dead, the cocktails cannot be missed and the delicious Pan Asian food is perfect for sharing – hello Korean DIY tacos! Hang at the bar, or bunker down for a meal – if you've got 11 friends (show off), the banquet menu's for you. Plus, there's a private karaoke room…
St Kilda is probably the crowd-friendly capital of Melbourne, and Mavis Brown's is its new star. Come on in for live music, great food, and ample breathing room. It's the perfect venue for a catch up with all your favourite people.
Summer afternoons at the College Lawn Hotel are a must. While the pub itself is a fine establishment, it's the courtyard and the outside bar that you want to aim for here. Tables are a-plenty, and range from smaller ones for your group, or epic communal tables that open up a whole new level of introductions.
This grand old building of Victoria Street had a gorgeous refurb not too long ago, and now The National really shines. Whether you plan to spend the day inside or out, The Nash has you covered, boasting a plentiful beer garden perfect for hosting groups, as well as a beautiful interior should the mood take you. Plus the Thai-style food is deelish!
But if, while the above sounds awesome, your social circle puts the pyjama in party, it's time to let the Winger crew awesome-ify your next night out with hand selected mates (or dates) at one of the coolest venues in town.
Image Credits: Bon Appetit,