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Comme

Address:
7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne CBD 3000
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri midday-late, Sat 5pm-late
http://www.comme.com.au

Built in the 19th century and having previously been used as a Naval club, German club and several different restaurants, Comme certainly has plenty of history behind it. There's also a lot of money floating around behind the scenes; whoever looked after the building's recent renovations and rebranding didn't spare any expense turning it into a landmark venue. With stark-white walls, a grand staircase, separate wine bar and bistro, it's a genuinely impressive establishment. Despite the ostentatious entrance (it's hard to miss the stairwell in all it's shiny glory), the actual staff and patrons are attitude free. At any given time you'll find a mix of business people 'having meetings' and a casual, 30-something crowd enjoying drinks and meals in jeans and button-down shirts. Drop in during the day and the downstairs bar is an oasis of calm. Pull up a stool and you can enjoy the high ceilings, marble surfaces and chandeliers while browsing the drink menu. While the cocktail menu is limited to house specialities (they can also make classics), the wine list is designed for the aficionados and runs for several pages. Meanwhile, the adjoining restaurant specialises in Mediterranean dishes from the French/Spanish border region. Come back on the weekend and you'll find the quiet ambience has been traded in for a more energetic atmosphere and a crowd of young (and not-so-young) professionals. Either way, everyone appreciates the cashed-up ambience and drinks.