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“themed cocktails in a faux-exclusive real-chic atmosphere”
Review of Berlin Bar

Berlin Bar
Ranked #858 of 4,034 Restaurants in Melbourne
Cuisines: Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“themed cocktails in a faux-exclusive real-chic atmosphere”
Reviewed 22 May 2013

The Berlin Bar is easy to miss when you're hunting for it. In a lane in Chinatown, you simply see its emblematic Berlin bear above a doorway. The doorway leads to a staircase. At the top of the stairs, you knock on a heavy door, and someone behind pretends to scrutinise your suitability for entrance while checking if you have reservations. Of course, it's all part of the game in a bar that has been divided into East and West Berlin. In West Berlin, 50s-chic decor of red booths and sparkling chandeliers welcomes youl the 'fun', American-run part of town. In Communist East Berlin, you might be positioned over an antique radio or perched atop a bunk bed, as you duck your head under the camo and barbed wire.

It's great fun for many, but for those more connected to the history of Berlin itself, the irreverent gimmickery of the Berlin bar may offend. Down in Australia, for many the horrors of WWII are far removed, and chances are strong that the young, hip crowd don't even realise what the Sachsenhausen (tanqueray infused with lemongrass, lemon, and vanilla sugar syrup) is named for - one of Germany's horrific concentration camps, the site of the murder of countless innocents. But it's all too easy to be distracted instead with a tasty Love Parade (Absolut vanilla, St Germain, lemon, and strawberry compote), the candy-pink cocktail topped with a heart-shaped lollipop.

History-conscious patrons may not appreciate the way that the bar makes light of the historically violent and disturbing serration of the city of Berlin. Yet the allure of the tasty drinks, the uniqueness of the idea, the two very different atmospheres inside, and the exclusive feel of this bar all ensure that it is is packed every Friday and Saturday night. I happily take all my out-of-town friends here.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank riventree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Disgusting!!!”
Reviewed 21 April 2013

I went to Berlin Bar yesterday with great expectations to find my home city here in my choosen home, ... and how discussed and upset I was when I read through the menu... How on earth can they name a cocktail after one of the biggest and most terrible concentration camps in Germany where thousands of innocent people where slaughtered? Berlin Bar is disrespectful on the highest level, terrifying stupid, painfully ignorant to one of the darkest parts of history. They obviously have not done their research! Going to a bar is light and sweet entertainment, not glorifying the death of people on it's back... I felt more like womiting...

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Berliner1805
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
117 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“mysterious and interesting bar hidden in a lane way.”
Reviewed 23 March 2013 via mobile

Bar is split into east and West Berlin and is very interesting. Sort of difficult to get into, you have to ring a bell. Cocktails are amazing but of course very pricey.
Cool place to check out.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Goodfoodgoodkarma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing discreet place”
Reviewed 6 February 2013

Every time I come to Melbourne, I go to the Berlin Bar. You would definitely miss it if you didn't know what you were looking for and I think that's what the owners like about it. The place can maybe hold 50 people max and you have to be let in through the front door. Once inside, German antiques line the walls and the staff are friendly and amazing.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hawadjie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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