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Open: Mon-Thu 10am-11pm, Fri 10am-midnight, Sat 11.30am-1am, Sun 11.30am-11pm
The overriding sentiment of the Celtic Club is one of regretting the amount of potential not realised yet for the venue. Perched imperiously on the corner of LaTrobe and Queens streets, if Celtic Club didn't have a money grubbing pokies venue attached to its wing, and had slightly more atmosphere rather than the empty, beer hall feeling it currently totes, then you'd be onto a winner. With sun streaming through windows that are inexplicably closed, it's pleasant enough, and quite - lovely enough - temperate and cool. With high tables dominating proceedings and a soft colour scheme of cream and deep green trying its utmost to elicit memories of more traditional Irish bars, the one factor that lets Celtic Club down is the way it lacks any sort of cosiness or vague comfort. It feels nicely open, but particularly soulless. A saving grace is their huge, big-screen TV, which provides one of the better vantage points to watch sport in the city, as well as their simple, effective bar, stocked with the usual Irish bar suspects - your Guinness, Kilkenny etc - as well as a fairly decent array of top shelf spirits. With a function room available to hire, a dining room that delivers a fairly priced and happily eclectic menu, food and parties are done particularly well at Celtic Club. It's just a shame about the money-scrungers next door, but other than that, Melbourne's first ever Irish bar - it was established in 1887 - is a fair destination for after-work drinks if you like a clean, clear-cut, modern Irish bar with a welcoming air and fine traditional Irish music sessions. Of course, as it's a club, you may also have to sign in as a visitor, or, if you so wish, you can apply for membership. Their sporting and cultural events are always happening, so why not?