Melbourne hospitality celebrates the end of the world’s harshest lockdown

From midnight tonight, Melbourne’s hospitality industry – including cafes, bars and restaurants – are allowed to reopen with indoor seating of up to 20, outdoor up to 50, as long as they have good recordkeeping and Covid-safe plans in place.

This is the news the Melbourne hospo scene had been waiting for and it came hot on the heels of what was dubbed ‘donut day’ when the state recorded zero new cases and zero deaths.

Zara Madrusan, co-owner of the Made in the Shade group of venues (The Everleigh, Bar Margaux and Heartbreaker said: “We have all the feelings about reopening! The announcement was like the first ray of sunshine after a tsunami. The challenges obviously don’t end here. It’s only the beginning of what we know will be a long process towards bringing Melbourne back to life, and we have a lot of work to do, but we’re ready to get busy! And we cannot wait to bring the romance back and start serving again.”

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews is famously quoted as saying it was not the time to “get on the beers” when this second lockdown started. When a journalist asked yesterday whether now was the time to get on the beers, Andrews said he “might go a little higher up the shelf”.

We’ve heard from many bars, who want to share the news of the big reopening. We know there are many more, so keep sending your news, but here are just a few of the excited operators opening their doors over the next week:

Nick & Nora’s MelbourneNick & Nora’s Melbourne is determined to be first CBD venue to open its doors. At 11:59pm, Nick and Nora’s will be celebrating in style with bottles of Champagne and free flowing cocktails to a lucky 57 guests for one hour and one minute of power till 1am. Nick & Nora’s was an incredible three years in the making when it opened to the public for just three days back in July, four months behind schedule due to the first Melbourne lock down.

Gin Palace – is also set to open from midnight tonight. “Who wants the first martinis after lockdown?” ask the folks from Gin Palace. Reservations are limited to just 20 people so head to the website and give them a buzz to secure your spot.

The Everleigh – Opening Thursday 5th November with bookings available at . There will be takeaway cocktails from pop up Everleigh bar positioned in downstairs entry, serving Aperitivos, Spritzes and *Fixes (*cocktails on crushed ice) Drinks offering will not prioritise a menu, instead allowing for full Bartenders Choice offering that the bar is renowned for. Tell them what you feel like and they’ll take care of the rest! Heartbreaker and Bar Margaux are also slated to open on 5th November.

Whisky and Alement – set to reopen on 5th November after seven months closed. They will be limited to a maximum of 10 guests but say ‘yes, you’ll receive the best service in town at this capacity’. Initial hours will be Thursday to Saturday, 4pm – 11pm.

Moondog OG – operating two indoor and one outdoor area, Moondog OG will be open for bookings in all spaces – up to ten inside and eight outside. Umbrellas available but not fully covered… a little rain never hurt anyone who’d been trapped inside for more than 100 days.

We know lots more of you are opening and are happy to add you to the list if you email we will continue to update.