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Arbory's Floating Bar Is Returning to the Yarra with a New Look Inspired by Turkey's Turquoise Coast

Arbory Afloat will sail once again in late October with two bars, poolside cabanas and lots of cocktails on tap.
By Libby Curran
October 12, 2021
By Libby Curran
October 12, 2021

Over the past six years, Melbourne's famed floating bar has become a summer staple — because soaking up the warm weather and sipping cocktails on the Yarra go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, that won't change in 2021, with Arbory Afloat set to return once again.

After its debut in 2015, Arbory Afloat is gearing up to reclaim its prime position in front of on-shore sister venue Arbory Bar & Eatery on the Yarra from Tuesday, October 26 — around the same time Victoria is expected to reach 70 percent vaccination coverage, which will allow venues to reopen for outdoor trade.

As part of its annual revamp, the temporary bar and restaurant is taking inspiration from Turkey's Turquoise Coast. The space will be reimagined with a vision of olive trees, tasselled umbrellas, iconic Missoni prints and plenty of classic Aegean hues.

To complete the picture, the 69-metre floating venue is set to boast two bars, an upper deck and an undercover dining area — read: lots of space to social distance. And, if that's not enough, the onboard swimming pool will also be making a triumphant return, with poolside daybeds and cabanas available to book.

Illustration by Jeffery Phillips

Chef Nick Bennett has again designed the menu, this time with a helping hand from Turkish-born chefs and siblings Nada Thomas (Cecconi's, Press Club) and Salim Gafayri (Bar Nacional, Cecconi's). The team's Mediterranean-inspired lineup is filled with Turkish flavours, both classic and contemporary.

And would it be a visit to the floating bar without cocktails? We think not. Luckily, there'll be loads, including new house concoctions, cocktails on tap and the latest edition of the Four Pillars pink gin collaboration, along with plenty of craft beers and wines.

Of course, despite the return of the annual summer pop-up bar, summer in Melbourne isn't going to be all business as usual. Capacities will be limited, bookings are recommended and there'll be plenty of ticketed events on the calendar — including Arbory Afloat's glitzy New Year's Eve party (early bird tickets are now available).

Arbory Afloat is set to open at Flinders Landing from Tuesday, October 26, with opening hours from 11.30am–1am daily. It's taking bookings online, with limited space reserved for walk-ins.

Images: Simon Shiff

Published on October 12, 2021 by Libby Curran

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