You’ll Definitely Get Lei’d (Melbourne)

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The LuWow – by Jayde!

Melbourne does quirk really, really well. There’s no shortage of themed bars very coolly rocking a gimmick in M-Town or, at the very least, some kick-ass weird-o décor, from the hetero-camp of The Carlton Hotel in Bourke St (stuffed animals, velvet seating and red-flecked EVERYTHING) to the retro rockabilly chic of Fitzroy’s The LuWow.

The LuWow is the fourth bar created by Wonder Bar designs, who own the equally visually outrageous Perth bars Deville’s Pad and Hula Bula Bar, as well as London’s South London Pacific. Billed as ‘a cocktail adventure in the High Seas’, The LuWow is basically a giant nod to the tiki bars of the ‘60s.

The difference between The LuWow and other local tiki bars is the décor. Sweet baby Jesus. The final result is something akin to what would happen if you gave free reign and an unlimited budget to a hyped-up, amphetamine-crazed Broadway set designer. There’s flaming skulls, dinosaurs, Indian goddesses, looming giant Tiki masks and truckloads of bamboo. It’s not subtle, but by God, is it fantastic.

There are two sections to The LuWow – head to the left and you’ll find yourself in The Island Village, a more laidback lounge bar with individual booth huts you can reserve and a bar snack menu. However, head to the right and be prepared to party in The Forbidden Temple. Not only is there a giant lagoon dance floor, but also a DJ booth AND band stage complete with fur bikini-clad gogo dancers.

The signature of the LuWow is its cocktails. Each bar offers a different cocktail menu and every single cocktail boasts a different garnish. Part of the fun is to order randomly and see what arrives – the Shrunken Head, for example, comes complete with fake eyeball while the Fog Cutter has a plastic tentacle hanging out of the glass.

LuWow probably caters towards a 25+ and rockabilly crowd. A lot of the local swing/blues dancing schools like to strut their stuff on the DF so there’s some great people watching on offer. Come for the cocktails, stay for the swing!

View: www.theluwow.com; Visit: 62-70 Johnston St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065; Call: (03) 9417 5447; Open: Wed – Sat 5pm till late: Wallet: $5 entry charge after 8pm, cocktails start from $16, bar snacks start from $10.

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