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By Hudson Brown
October 03, 2017

Melbourne's Best Happy Hours for Some Serious Co-Worker Bonding

Options that will put the mate in workmate.
By Hudson Brown
October 03, 2017


in partnership with

Options that will put the mate in workmate.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. With that in mind, what better way is there to get to know your colleagues than over a few cheap drinks? After working the nine to five, hang up those telephones and close those spreadsheets, because it's time to join your co-workers, gripe about the daily grind, and enjoy some of Melbourne's landmark pubs and must-see bars.

With so many fantastic watering holes all over Melbourne, finding the perfect happy hour can be tough. And while it's hard to complain about any cut-price drinks, not all happy hours were created equal. So, with our mates American Express, we've conducted a thorough investigation of our directory and compiled a list of the very best happy hours that'll help you get some respite from the working week, and get to know your co-workers just a little bit better.

Check out our selections for some of the greatest local happy hours that a) allow you to tap your Amex and b) are guaranteed to get your workplace synergy at an all-time high.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    The drinks pour freely at this prohibition-era speakeasy bar. Located in the heart of the city overlooking the State Library, Father’s Office has become one of the most popular spots for a drink after work since opening its doors in 2014. Alongside the hard stuff, there’s decadent American burgers, wings and more, all of which have helped it become a hit. Combined with the art-deco dining room, it makes for a stylish and tasty setting to catch up with co-workers.

    You can’t have a CBD bar without the happy hour to match, and Father’s Office doesn’t miss a beat with a whole host of drinks to choose from. There’s a selection of $12 cocktails, $6 bottled beer and schooners, cut-price jugs and much more. The daily happy hour runs between 5–7pm and 8–10pm, as well as all-day Sunday, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get a drink on a steamy day.

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    Polēpolē is the perfect place for a ‘slow’ night out — and it should be because it’s right there in the name. A popular phrase amongst Swahili mountain guides, ‘polēpolē’ translates to “go slowly”, an ideal that inspired Dean and Jeanelle Mariani’s popular cocktail bar after the duo’s trip to East Africa.

    Sitting one level above Collins Street, Polēpolē is a slick little homage to Africa’s eastern coastline. There’s several African beers imported straight from the continent, plus a few cocktails that provide a small taste of Africa, such as the Mzungu Martini — Polēpolē’s espresso martini, but with added spiced rum.

    Happy hour is on every day from 5–7pm, and there’s some quality bang for your buck too. Beers and cider ($6), wines ($6) and all cocktail jugs ($25) are all on offer, and will have you chatting about your own travel experiences in no time.

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    The Prahran Hotel has been around for a while. It’s one of those places where a pot of Carlton and a chicken parma is the order of the day. Owners Sand Hill Road conducted a fairly major overhaul in 2013, which was dramatic to say the least, turning the interior into something quite special. With specially designed booths fashioned inside concrete pipes, loads of indoor greenery and great natural night, this pub’s inside is a standout.

    Describing itself as a “home away from home”, Wednesday is the top night to visit with meal specials for parmas ($16) and steak ($18), while Friday’s 5–7pm happy hour is a clear winner, offering pints, house wines and house spirits for $7. Featuring a beautifully designed space, and some great food and drinks to go with it, you’ll be clinking glasses at the Prahran Hotel before you know it.

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    One of Richmond’s many drinking institutions, The Bridge Hotel brings the outside in with a unique design and a great atmosphere. Split in two by a 50-metre long cobblestone path, it’s a traditional Victorian pub combined with individual spaces that have been themed as the types of bars and venues you might find in a typical CBD laneway. There’s five themed areas plus an additional loft space that becomes a bustling dance floor on busy nights of the week.

    Maintaining its robust roots, Carlton Draught is still the drink of choice at The Bridge Hotel, but there’s a broader selection of beer, cider, wine and spirits for those looking to branch out. Happy hours happen every weeknight from 5–7pm, with $4 pots, $5 wines, $7 pints and $7 house spirits. And on Fridays it does $13 espresso martinis. What better place to kick off the weekend while creating some questionable memories with your colleagues?

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    College Lawn Hotel

    Fitting snuggly in the terrace-lined backstreets of Prahran, this southside pub and bistro is a dependable local that no doubt gives its neighbours some grief over the weekend. In addition to a main bar, dining area, public bar and bottle shop, the large astroturf-lined beer garden can house hundreds on hot summer days, and conveniently has an outside bar to cater for it.

    While it can be hard to get a table during their infamous Sunday Sessions, during the week this place is a relaxed little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Chapel Street. It also offers great specials on pub grub, including a $15 parma night on Thursdays. Or, give the end of the working week a quality send-off — and you can be certain it’s a sure bet here — with Friday’s happy hour running from 5–7pm. It offers up wines, pints and basic spirits for $7, and there’s even a $2 sausage sizzle, so you know you can’t go wrong.


    As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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