Right in the heart of Brunswick Street, Bar Open has hosted roots, rock'n'roll and general brouhaha since 1998. The bandroom is pumping at least six nights a week and drinks are served until late every night. Bar Open is a bastion of the old Fitzroy.
Live music: Bar Open has gained a reputation for delivering cool and quirky music six nights a week. With three-act bills in the bandroom and free sets in the front room, there’s usually something to see.
Famous for: pretty much kicking off the Brunswick St bar scene. When it first opened, the area wasn’t exactly the nightlife haven it is today. Bar Open has seen it all.
Infamous for: taking on the NIMBYs and nay-sayers back in the noughts and bringing loud music and good times to Fitzroy.
In 1998, three friends decided to open a bar. Sick of slogging away in the computer industry and looking for something new, Andy, Jon and Sam scouted a location on Brunswick St.
After winning over all those who were hesitant at first, Bar Open opened its doors for the first time.
Comfortable and down to earth, the place is supremely easy to love. The glowing red interior radiates a warm vibe, with a fireplace and plenty of cosy nooks and crannies where it’s all too easy to waste the hours away.
Hang around in the courtyard or head up into the band room, which has, over the years, hosted everyone from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to The Presets. On Tuesdays, it’s home to the iconic Make It Up Club, a weekly musical improv session where every moment is unexpected.
Bar Open has remained pretty much the same since the day it opened, serving drinks late into the night and offering visitors a sliver of the old Fitzroy. A new addition, though, is the mural out the back, dedicated to Andy – the co-founder – and friends who didn’t make it.
This December, in celebration of its 25th birthday, Bar Open is holding a massive month of gigs.
“Bar Open has contributed so much to Melbourne’s music culture over the last 25 years. It’s always been my favourite venue because it gives you the best small-venue music experience in town. This December is dedicated to Andy, the last and the next 25 years of Bar Open,” says co-owner Jon Perring.
For band bookings email: [email protected]