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Open: Tue-Sun 5pm-1am
Smith St is in the midst of a resurgence. While it's still all kinds of grim out on the footpath, more and more bars are opening shop, dragging the place into upmarket territory while taking advantage of the cheap rents. Suitably, Collingwood World opened in late 2008 and has been quietly making a name for itself ever since. Located up a (well hidden) stairwell, near the corner of Smith and Gertrude Streets, it's a sparsely decorated, loft-style venue. The walls and floor have been left exposed and untreated, the furniture is a basic scattering of long wooden tables and wrap-around couches. Aside from a blown-up Melways map running alongside one wall, the venue is basically an open canvas. Presumably, that's the point.
Whatever you think of the decor, the drinks are both delicious and reasonably priced. The venue is really pushing its cocktail menu, with a selection of drinks between $10 and $14. As the bar staff are eager to explain, a few extra bucks can transform a regular vodka and tonic into an elaborate cocktail, e.g. a Mac Robertson's Mule.
Open from 5pm Tuesday through Sunday, Collingwood World is one of the more spacious bars to be found in this locale. It's a minimalist loft with ample room to stretch out, order a $10 cocktail and avoid the occasional freak show outside.