Next Meetup

Thursday @ Gin Palace
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.

Gin Palace

10 Russell Place · Melbourne

2 comments

Upcoming Meetups

Past Meetups (510)

What we're about

Our beginnings were around January 2013 on Meetup and slowly formed a small group of like minded Melbournites getting together on Thursdays to raid a different hidden bar every week - no repeats!

We still to this day keep that tradition going, but we are not such a small group these days and we have evolved to be about even more than just raiding bars...

Raiders of the Lost Bars are an events team focused towards creating experiences tuned towards meeting and connecting with others through interactive events, theme parties, and exploration of Melbourne's most interesting night spots.

From the rooftops to the basements, the extravagant to the dirty dives, from the spacious to small intimate places for a quiet drink all often within a short walk away from each other, we will find them all! With over 300 bars and night spots in the city and 100's more around the inner suburbs, there is no shortage of venues to enjoy.

We also enjoy putting on theme parties around once a month, best known for our Halloween party, College Party and UV Full moon party.. And these are huge and only getting bigger as we gain more and more support from the best party people in Melbourne.

WHAT ARE WE ALL ABOUT?
Primarily we are about meeting new people, we love the Melbourne bar scene and we want to scout every street, laneway & alley in the CBD and the surrounding inner suburbs in search of the coolest bars around! In the process meet a variety of friendly bar enthusiasts, from backpackers, to corporate professionals, to people new in town and of course, the party people of Melbourne!

IS THIS A SINGLES CLUB?
Pfft! No way! It's a "Bar exploration club"! Couples, singles, lgbt, anyone is welcome and accepted. Yes there are many single people that attend, but it's the same as anywhere you go in Melbourne's great nightlife. We are just out to socialise and see new places.

ARE YOUR EVENTS ABOUT GETTING WASTED AND DRUNK?This is a common misconception, we encourage responsible alcohol consumption. There are many people that limit themselves to only one drink and a couple of regulars who don't drink at all, we are not about getting smashed, wasted, shitfaced, intoxicated or anything else of that nature. As already mentioned, we are about meeting new people and exploring new bars. Drinking beyond your means is not condoned.

CAN I JUST ROCK UP ON MY OWN?
Yes! That is what most people do and it is what we encourage! because if you come with friends, you are just going to talk to your friends all night and that's no fun! If you feel you need a bit of moral support from friends though we also understand and that's totally cool! We have been doing this for over a year now and we know how to make you all feel welcome, we have more than 10 hosts who are there to help welcome you to the group.

SO WHAT HAPPENS AT AN EVENT?
We provide members with precise instructions on how to get to the venue and exactly how to touch base with your friendly neighbourhood EVENT HOST! Once you have made contact with the host they will give you a complete rundown on everything you need to know, they will also introduce you around to some other friendly members.
Expect to see many smiles, and great conversation. Normally we have some mad drink specials organised with the venues that apply just to our members.

BUT I AM TOO SHY!!
If, at any time, you feel a little lost or shy at an event, please come and find the host! Your hosts will introduce you to people or you can just stick around and have a drink with the organisers. We want this to be a positive social experience for everyone and make sure we cater for shy-types as well as social butterflies.

WHY SHOULD I GO?
I would say, If you are still not convinced, but your still reading this, then you are probably in two minds weather this is for you or not. Well the beauty of our events are you can leave at any time you like... If you only come for 5 minutes to suss it out THAT'S OK! :-) Many people come to Raiders to kick off their night before later meeting with their own friends.. THAT'S COOL TOO! We don't have any rules, it's pretty easy going.

WHO CAN JOIN?
We used to allow anyone to join, however, generally most members that attend are between 25 and 35 which is the best fit for this group. Our age cut of age is now 39. We surveyed 1,200 members when they signed up and the results confirmed that the 25 to 35 rain supreme when it comes to raiding Melbourne's awesome bars. There are some regulars who are outside that age bracket who fit in really well, so don't let the age factor scare you off. Choose the events that suit you. Try the group out first then decide if you like it! Whether you're new to Melbourne, or just don't know many bars this group is a must! Some of the bars we will show you will blow your mind!

https://secure.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/c/c/8/0/event_424432352.jpeg

I recommend looking through our upcoming events and finding our next newbies night (runs every two months) this is a very popular event with our new comers!

Signing up is FREE, easy and well worth it!

ANY MORE QUESTIONS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US :-)
steve@barraiders.com
0400 783 836

Members (8,070)

Photos (4,066)

Find us also at