Here at Just Melbourne, we think having a drink on your own is vastly underrated. Bothered by your housemates, but don’t want to visit the NGV for the 100th time? Want to have a cheeky beer, but everyone is chucking a Dry July on you? Try these 5 places for an undisturbed moment to yourself. Grab a journal or throw in some headphones, and enter the beauty that is your own company.
Blackcat, 252 Brunswick Street Fitzroy
This place is a Melbourne institution. With its cosy yet funky interior, you can easily find yourself sinking into the old couches with a glass of red, or reading your favourite novel in a booth. I have often been known to do these two things – and it’s not hard when the place is open from 11am to 1am. The couches are communal, but everyone is in their own zone and are unlikely to bother you. The staff are relaxed, and the DJ spins smooth tunes into the evening that heighten that cosy vibe. (Plus, their wine menu ain’t bad either).
Auction Rooms, 103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne
When I needed a place to calm down before a nearby class I was taking, Auction Rooms was perfect. I would always head in around 10am, grab myself a table and plan out my week with a coffee. It was a weekly ritual, and I can honestly say its an ideal cafe to attend on your own. I often found myself amongst other lone-coffee-drinkers, revelling in the vast amount of light streaming in the blind-less front windows. There’s a particular openness to this place – both the personalities of the staff and the large room the cafe inhabits.
Rooks Return, 201 Brunswick Street Fitzroy
Just down the road from Blackcat is this great bar, which I highly recommend for an evening beer by yourself. Though there are board games available for groups, my favourite spot is outside, sitting on a candle-lit table under the cool breeze. In the early evening, the light scatters around the intimate courtyard, and at night, candles light your book pages. Everything about this place is gentle and welcoming, and always with that laid-back Melbourne edge.
Malthouse Theatre Company, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
I love studying, but sometimes libraries drive me to the point of insanity. At that point, I’ll wander down from the State Library to Malthouse Theatre, and take a seat at one of their indoor tables to do my work. During the day, Malthouse is a hub of professional activity, and mostly, people are working alone. (If they’re with others, they’re not looking at ya). The working atmosphere always encourages me to whip out the laptop and write a damn novel. You’d expect a theatre company to be loud, but this one is quiet and energising simultaneously. If you’re too hot inside, you can slip to an outside table and have a nice cold beer.
Mag Nation – 88 Elizabeth Street, CBD
Though you can’t buy a drink from here, walking around with a chai latte or coffee in your hand is a perfect alternative. Mag Nation is a two-storey shop filled with every type of magazine imaginable – from fashion, to gaming, to cooking. I have spent many an afternoon browsing in this store alone, flicking through magazines or finding a corner in which to sit down and read one. Located in the middle of the bustling CBD, Mag Nation is a proper escape. (Extra points if it’s raining and your coffee cup is keeping you warm as you browse).
When I moved to Melbourne, I was shocked by how easy it is to be by yourself here, particularly in public spaces. Instead of hitting the library, I would find new wine bars or cafes and write my essays there. There’s something uniquely invigorating about enjoying your own company in a funky Melbourne spot. The places mentioned above let your alone time be full of ease and free of judgement. With no one to please but you, you may as well have a few glasses of wine and treat yourself.