Hunting for the most obscure bar in Melbourne is a sport. Those who can climb the most stairs, brave the most alleyways or withstand the longest queues are glorified gurus of cool amongst their circle of friends. Dansk Bar, tucked away high up on Little Bourke, should therefore be the most discreet jewel in any punters black book.
Located within the little known Denmark House, Dansk Bar is the most delightful surprise ever to be found at the top of an elevator. The interior design is, not surprisingly, very Danish with exposed beams in the ceiling, well-considered chairs (Borge Mogensen designed the sofas) and light fixtures that create an atmosphere of cool intelligence. It's a rare find that couples enormous loft-style windows overlooking the city with reindeer fur rugs on the floorboards, whilst still remaining extremely underrated by the after work crowd.
The drink selection is similarly discerning. Danish brews such as Tuborg, Carlsberg and Somersby Cider are imported in, while Scandinavian themed cocktails are a top choice at $16 each — try the Copenhagen or the Danish Mary. Dansk even holds happy hour from 5-6pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with $5 beer and cider, proving not everything about Scandinavia is elusive and expensive.
Adjoining Dansk Bar, through the passage of portraits of Crown Prince Frederik (essential to any bar's decor, quite frankly) is Denmark House's restaurant. Serving traditional Danish smørrebrød, offerings include curry herring ($17), gravlax (cured salmon with dill served with a classic mustard sauce; $16) and a prawn salad ($15). It's a taste worth acquiring.
No longer restricted only to members, Dansk Bar is the most refined perch to enjoy an evening tipple — serving a taste of Copenhagen cool without the twenty-five hour flight.