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Open: Tue-Sun 5pm-late
Barbara is basically a 1960's New York loft party. The only difference is it's 2010 and you're in Richmond, Melbourne. Since opening its doors, Barbara has provided its own take on Melbourne's retro-tinged bar scene, taking familiar elements and giving them a unique slant. The result has seen the crowds come a-running, and it's long been recognised as one of East Melbourne's stand out venues. The decor itself isn't that far removed from other venues; there's basically a whole lot of vintage couches scattered throughout one large room, a selection of lamps, coffee tables and chandeliers filling in the blanks. The thing is, it works. Maybe it's good Feng Shui? Or they got an expensive interior designer in? Whatever the case, the place has charm. It also has plenty of drinks to choose from. Aside from the usual selection of imported beers, you'll find an extensive wine menu and a full cocktail list. The bar staff are friendly, the pours are generous and Barbara tends to get busy early on Friday and Saturday evenings. Basically, it's an upmarket party venue with a nod to beatnik New York and a Melbourne aesthetic - or some weird mix of all those elements. There's no need for a ticket to JFK when you have Barbara around; so grab a Manhattan, sink back into a sofa and relax.