When kick ons are the next order of business.
The most popular time to have a drink is the witching hours of the night. But here’s the big irony – it’s hard to find a bottle shop open when you’re out and about hunting for booze at that time.
While the typical 10pm (or earlier) closing time for bottle shops can be frustrating, there are a few bottle shops open late when you feel like a drink or two after midnight – especially if it’s not in a bar.
And no, you don’t need to venture into the CBD to satisfy your late-night cravings.
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The Riversdale Hotel, Hawthorn
With a rich history dating back to the 1800s, the hotel is equipped with a bistro, lounge bar and public sports bar – but their Thirsty Camel bottle shop is where it’s at. Open daily until 3am, the bottle shop is situated right beside the hotel, conveniently near a tram stop for those travelling from outside Hawthorn.
Thirsty Camel, Flemington
Most Thirsty Camel stores tend to close at 10 or 11pm, when that typical bottle shop closing time rears its head. But alongside their Hawthorn store, Thirsty Camel’s Flemington store is also open late – boasting a 1am daily closing time.
Famously known for its brick-lined bar with 20 rotating tap beers, BeerMash also has their own bottle shop selling beer, cider, wine and some niche snacks like Birdsnake chocolate bars and Chappy’s Honey Dijon potato chips. Situated on Smith St in Collingwood, the shop may be open until 11pm from Sundays to Wednesdays, but they close at 1am for your late-night alcohol needs between Thursdays and Saturdays.
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Thirsty Camel, Windsor
Just like Hawthorn and Flemington’s Thirsty Camel, their shop in Windsor is also open for late-night drinks. Unlike their stores in Docklands, South Melbourne, Clifton Hill and more – this one is open 24 hours. Whether you’re stocking up on the way to a nearby house party, or just keen for a quiet late-night tipple, Windsor’s Thirsty Camel has it all.
The Exford Hotel, CBD
This hidden Chinatown bar is much-loved. From their $7 pizzas, to their pool tables and jukebox, a wide range of entertainment like swing classes and free stand-up comedy shows are also available here. While the bar is open from 12pm till late, nothing beats their bottle shop that’s open until 3:30am, seven days a week.
Rising Sun Hotel, Richmond
The iconic traditional Australian pub with a covered rooftop beer garden also has a bottle shop open until 1am every day. Established in the mid 1800s, it’s been over 150 years since the Rising Sun Hotel first operated as a licensed hotel. Seems like the pub, the bottle shop and the hotel aren’t going anywhere.
While local bottle shops have their own share of Asian booze like selected beers, soju or sake, nothing beats what Asian supermarkets can provide. Most of them follow the bottle shop closing time of 10 or 11pm, but some are open past midnight.
With a wider collection of flavoured soju and Asian beer brands local bottle shops don’t offer, supermarkets like the KJG International City Mart on Elizabeth Street and City Mart Melbourne on Flinders Street are open for a midnight booze fix.
Keen on another fun read? Check out our list of Melbourne’s best beer gardens.