Anyone over the age of 25 probably remembers Baroq House. If you don’t have a few (slightly sketchy) memories from this place, you must have slept your way through the noughties. From 2006 to 2014 it was Drewery Lane’s buzzing, late-night hot-spot—a lavish nightclub, with a rep for atomic-strength cocktails.
In 2014 it closed its doors indefinitely, and Melbourne nightlife moved on to the next big thing. Or just went back to Revs.
Well now Baroq is back. Three years and over $5 million later, the iconic Melbourne venue has re-opened its doors, and we haven’t seen a cocktail bar like this in a looooong time. Stretched over three levels, with multiple bars, a DJ-topped dancefloor, private function room, even a WIP coffee house, all perched above the cobbles of Drewery Lane—this place is officially nuts.
In terms of the fit-out, Eyes Wide Shut might come closest. The décor hints at illicit rendezvous and moody noir decadence. The sort of place you’d shoot a vampire movie or an Evanescence video clip (and if you don’t get THAT reference, you’re defs too young to remember Baroq House).
Here’s a rough guide to the layout. You walk through two massive gold doors, beneath the old sculpture of entwined lovers, mid-embrace. To your left is the main bar area, decked out in emerald leather booths, with glowing bottles of Moet and Belvedere behind the marble bar. Keep going and you’ll reach the mezzanine: a people-watching lounge space, with a DJ booth and dancefloor. Downstairs to the right is a private function room and overflow bar, pimped out with gilt, gold and pre-tarnished mirrors. In every room, the ceilings are hand-beaten shimmering metal, rippling like multicoloured water.
We were scrabbling for adjectives at this point, but we settled on ‘opulent’.
If you need a breather, head outside to the roped-off smoker’s area, complete with Kardashian street art by Lush Sux (like Richard Attenborough, these guys have spared no expense). Om Nom at The Adelphi are providing the nibbles and bar snacks, and the cocktail list is looking suitably classy AF.
It’s early days, but the signs are there: Baroq is shaping up to become the city’s premier cocktail bar. Check it out before the hype hits.
Image credit: Griffin Simm