Thursday @ Gin Palace

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Gin Palace

10 Russell Place · Melbourne

How to find us

We'll be in the "swamp room".

Location image of event venue

Details

What is a Gin Palace?

The term “gin palace” was used, pejoratively, during the 19th Century to describe disreputable and socially undesirable drinking houses. In the USA, it was particularly employed to identify the licensed paddle-steamers that plied the Mississippi River, so-called “floating gin palaces”.

What is this Gin Palace?

In the latter 1800’s, down a dark Melbourne alley, there once was an infamous hospitality venue. How it was frowned upon during daylight hours, yet surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, how it was frequented by all kinds at night. Whether through popular opinion, a desire for frankness, or a sense of irony, it adopted the title “Gin Palace”. However to the delight of the local wowsers and press, this drinking house was abruptly shut down by command.

And from here the years rolled by and right on the cusp of Melbourne’s lane way revolution along came the entrepreneurial Mr Vernon Chalker – famously one of Melbourne’s most indulgent hosts. It was 1997 and the who’s who of Melbourne were giddy with excitement as the doors were opened. From day one gin martini’s and champagne came flowing and this lavish basement promptly became one of Melbourne’s finest and is of course so very aptly named Gin Palace.

What’s it all about?

12 years on Gin Palace is still making and is most highly renowned for outstanding martinis. And that is one of many reasons why this plush den is an institution today. The menu has changed little and Vernon himself will tell you that Gin Palace martinis are made exactly the same today as they were when he opened (Gin Palace’s Martini Master Class is available upon request).

This fact, along with ‘we never close’ hours, the very gorgeous staff who offer table service as good as the best and in the traditions of grand hospitality, Gin Palace provides guests with a choice of delectable tidbits, to ensure that every sense of gustatory well-being is entirely satiated… hmmmm!

And let’s not forget that although Gin Palace is about gin, gin and more gin parleeeease… the martini menu is hard to beat; the cocktail list is created by bartenders who are oh so hot right now; and the back bar is stocked to the brim with liquor old and new. However, if a martini is not for you (although I must insist you try one of Gin Palace’s if you’ve not already!), the reserve wine menu, otherwise known as Vernon’s Crusty Old Wines, may be more suited to your palate.