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Open: Wed 5pm-midnight, Thu 5pm-am, Fri 4pm-3am, Sat 7pm-3am
Not just anyone can wonder into Berlin. You have to get past the man with the hat first. Walk up a few flights of stairs, find a locked door, press a buzzer - a host with a heavy accent (and hat) just may come down to meet you soon after and, depending on several random factors, will either let you in or say they're full. It's like something out of a David Lynch movie. Make it inside and you'll find yourself in the western quarter, i.e., the opulent side. It's all black marble, white rugs, chandeliers and private booths - very nice. If you prefer slumming it, then there's always east Berlin in the adjoining room. A number of old bathtubs have been converted into tables here and there's a (not very comfortable) bed propped up in one corner. Some suitably kitsch artwork and barbwire fence props all this up. Whichever side of the east/west divide you opt for, the drinks menu is fantastic. It's also housed in an old passport, which is a nice touch. There's an extensive list of cocktails available and if you're looking for exotic spirits there are plenty of imported rums, vodkas and tequilas. Melbourne may have an abundance of high-class bars, but Berlin has enough novelty to make it stand out, even ignoring that the drinks are wonderful.