Yeah, yeah - we hear you. Melbourne’s got laneways and bougie bars; a thriving nightlife and street art to boot. Why travel to a regional city for a night out when the hustle and bustle of the big smoke is nearby? Because Geelong has changed my friends; it has officially outgrown its awkward teenage years and emerged...cool (don’t look so surprised). And we can offer a flavour of nightlife that we bet you haven’t tried. Ready to get your dancing shoes on? Let’s do this.
Step back in time to the ‘20s, where prohibition was at its height and speakeasies were the spot for those who felt the pull towards a darker lifestyle. Think bootlegged booze, swingin’ jazz and a thick cloud of cigar smoke. A visit to 18th Amendment on Little Malop will transport you to that very era (minus the cigar smoke). Creep up the stairs and you will find an elegant low-lit space that’s pumping with life. Having recently been recognised as the Best Regional Bar in Australia in 2019, the hidden Chicago-style speakeasy certainly lives up to that honour. Offering a massive selection of cocktails and speciality drinks - the mixologists are true masters of their craft.
Geelong Cellar Door
There’s only one word to describe this spot and that’s ‘class’. Geelong Cellar Door is an intimate space tucked away on Little Malop Street. Cozy up to the roaring open fire and enjoy the old world ambience because this local favourite is the perfect place to kickstart your night. Eating is not cheating so make sure you pair your tipple with a delicious cheese platter. Proudly showcasing an array of premium cool climate wines produced within the Greater Geelong region, this charming venue is a one-stop-shop for the vino connoisseur.
So now that you’re sufficiently warmed up, it’s time to get rowdy at Piano Bar. What is Piano Bar exactly? I hear you ask, well...it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s piano covers by request. Grab a slip, fill in your favourite song and the talented performers will have you crooning along in no time. This jiving hot spot features nightly entertainment by an array of talented and colourful characters. One night you may be entertained by the vocal stylings of a bodacious drag queen, and another night it could be a sultry siren. So grab a drink, warm up those vocal cords and let’s go!
If you’re keen for views and brews, then look no further than Wah Bah. Wah Bah is perched on Cunningham Pier and overlooks stunning Corio Bay. To find the entrance, you must enter via a hidden staircase found within sister restaurant Wah Wah Gee. Exuberant and cheeky, the venue is decked out with buzzing neon lights, funky interiors and youthful atmosphere. Make sure you line your stomach with a cheeky bao bun before checking out Wah Bah’s extensive cocktail menu.
Get a taste of metropolitan New York right in the heart of Geelong CBD. From the creators of 18th Amendment comes Manhattan Bar - a trendy joint that’s all about frothy craft beers, quality spirits, fine wines and a damn good time. This vibrant establishment is one part grungy, two parts hip with just a dash of unpretentious cool. Come for the beers, stay for the rock ‘n roll. Manhattan Bar is located at 9 James Street, Geelong.