“Go to Heartbreaker.”
Such is the pull of the Melbourne CBD bar that this is a phrase suited to almost any occasion.
Visiting Melbourne? Go to Heartbreaker.
Wondering where to meet everyone before a gig? Go to Heartbreaker.
Still out at 2am and keen to kick on? Go to Heartbreaker.
In the mood for a cocktail? Go to Heartbreaker.
Got a hankering for an IPA and pizza? Go to Heartbreaker.
Since opening in 2015, Heartbreaker has cemented itself in the hearts and minds of anyone in Melbourne seeking good times, riotous revelry and something delicious to accompany them. Like moths to a flame, the red neon glow has a way of pulling people in and, once inside, time simply ceases to exist.
The venue is part of the Made In Shade Group, who also operate much-loved cocktail bar The Everleigh and French-style brasserie Bar Margaux. It’s safe to say they know how to nail a concept and, when it comes to Heartbreaker, inspiration for the concept stems from LA’s best dive bars.
They’ve bottled such a feeling (and The Everleigh’s most popular cocktails) so well it’s not hard to understand why Heartbreaker occupies its enviable position in the city’s cultural ecosystem. The bar is always lively, the pool table busy, the jukebox or DJs pumping out wall to wall bangers, and the booths beckoning you to sink into them so deeply that not only does the concept of time disappear, but you wonder why you’d ever want to leave (other than to head back to the bar / jukebox / pool table).
While the walls are adorned with Miller and Budweiser signs, Heartbreaker’s skull-topped taps have always favoured craft beer brewed far closer to home (although if you’re after a classic American lager, they import many themselves). Said taps rotate through beers from across Australia – often created in collaboration with the bar team – while choice is further augmented by fridges filled with new releases.
Beer is just part of the Heartbreaker story when it comes to booze: it’s also very much about spirits. A broad selection lines the backbar, shots are always encouraged as an accompaniment to your pint, and cocktails are constantly taking shape behind the bar. And if you’re in need of something to soak it all up, Connie’s Pizzas are on hand to help: mammoth slices and whole pies are served through a small hole in the wall.
Topping it all off are the people: there are few bars you’ll prop yourself against as welcoming as Heartbreaker’s, and that’s thanks to staff who are always eager for a chat, the easy comfort of the leather finishes, and the hundreds of Polaroids, signs and other pieces of decor you could spend hours admiring.
One word of warning, however: If you’re particularly tall, just watch out for the lights (if you know, you know).
Looking for good times with a tasty beer in hand? Go to Heartbreaker.