UPDATE: AUGUST 30, 2019 — After a year of operation, Jasper's will close its doors on Saturday, August 31. In a Facebook post, the bar announced that it will be closing while its Goldie Place site undergoes development for a new boutique hotel. The bar will be back, though — albeit in a new incarnation when the hotel is finished. If you've been meaning to check this place out, now's your only chance.
Melbourne's (unofficial) title as the live music capital of Australia might lead one to believe that the city has reached jazz bar saturation. But, the opening of Jasper's has proved otherwise.
Jasper's is relieved of pretension through its exposed brick, vintage wall art, and cozy courtyard — setting the space apart from its established neighbour, the Paris Cat Jazz Club. The music haven has the feel of a New York City prohibition-era speakeasy, an aura the owner Jasper Lai achieved through the venue's handsome interiors, an impressive grand piano, and its unassuming locale — tucked away down the CBD's Goldie Place.
With a 27-page drinks menu Jasper's isn't short on choice. It has everything from Irish malts and Japanese gin to classic cocktails — including Cromwell's Christmas Sour ($22) made with port, gingerbread, scotch and a Czech bitters — and ant gin. Yep, you'll find that in the menu's 'unusual' section, alongside Christmas gin, and gin made using sheep's whey. Elsewhere, there's a lineup of peated whisky, nine tequilas and manly local beers.
To top it off, Jasper's plays host to live music from 9pm Thursday through Saturday. While it'll usually be free to get into the bar, you'll need to fork out $20 to watch the shows. The stylish space offers Melbourne an attractive option for after-work drinks or late-night hang outs — with the doors staying open till 3am on weekends.