3 Southgate Ave, Southbank 3006
Opening hours:
Daily 9am-2am

Located only metres from the Yarra river, Bearbrass offers spectacular views and a laidback ambiance. While most of the other venues along the river promenade cater to an upmarket crowd, Bearbrass is casual, cheap and cheerful. With a mix of long tables, plastic red chairs and gig posters on wooden panels, it resembles a university student bar. The beer garden is equally understated. But never mind - the river (and the procession of people walking past) will keep you distracted, and so will the drinks. The wine selection at Bearbrass is actually quite extensive, with most bottles coming in around the $40-50 mark. While the beer and spirit options are functional (rather than exceptional), the cocktail menu is pretty good. Twenty-five drinks are featured and these run from classics through to more obscure concoctions. The cocktails all come in at around the $15 mark, but if you head down on a Thursday evening you'll find them for a wallet pleasing $8. While it lacks the charm of Melbourne's back-alley bars, Bearbrass does offer river views, reasonable prices and an extensive drink selection. It might not impress your interstate guests, but it's a perfectly reasonable place to stop for a drink if you're in the area and don't feel like going broke.