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A Locals Guide To Hobart’s Best Late-Night Bars

A Locals Guide To Hobart’s Best Late-Night Bars

To the layperson, it may seem like Hobart shuts down at around 6pm. The streetlights come on, the sun goes down and the streets seem to empty entirely of cars and pedestrians. Perhaps you’ve been up the mountain, at a market, or at MONA all day, you’ve caught the last ferry back and you’re ready to keep going. So where has everyone gone?

Sure, some of the locals retreat to their houses for a kick-on, but for those who seek some buzz beyond the twilight, there’s actually plenty of after-hours action  if you know where to look for it. Head to these off-beat places for a true local experience.


#1 Society

Address: 22 Montpelier Retreat
Open: Tuesday-Saturday

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This place has only sprung up in the last couple of months, and you may get the occasional confused local popping their head in the door expecting the cider house that was the previous pub-in-residence. Society is probably the classiest joint on this list, so perhaps a good place to start, although be prepared to feel out of place if you show up in thongs and a t-shirt. This one is all shirts and evening dresses, with some fancy art hanging on the walls.

There’s a pretty impressive cocktail list complete with skilled bar staff who take control of the giant wall of spirits behind them with an old library-style roller ladder. Ask them to make you something with locally distilled gin in it if you want the full experience, or just go with what feels natural. There are local beers and local ciders, definitely something here for everyone’s palate.

The bar snacks are on the more expensive side, but packed with flavour. The pizzas there are cheesy but still light and modern, and probably a good choice for those who need to line their stomachs. If you’ve come here for chips and gravy, you’ll be disappointed, but if you’re a bit more ‘gourmet’ you’ll be in heaven. This place is classy and intimate, and best of all it hasn’t been around long enough to get sticky floors or jaded staff. A top pick in Hobart at the moment.

#2 The Winston

Address: 381 Elizabeth Street
Open: Seven days

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The Winston seems to have a cross between local charm and Americophilila – there are craft beers on tap, the usual spirits, as well as Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (if you get there early enough, they tend to run out), and a menu of ribs, wings, hotdogs and pulled pork. The bar staff here love the drinks they sell, so if you’re from out of town and want to chat to someone about the characteristics of your favourite IPA, then you’re in the right place.

Live local acts play here, generally on a Friday and a Saturday night, and other times you can expect a pleasant buzz of the crowd. The only thing obnoxious about this bar is the selection of chilli sauces to go on your hot wings. Everyone is welcome at The Winston.

#3 The Homestead

Address: 304 Elizabeth Street
Open: Tuesday-Sunday

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What was once known in Hobart as The Sir William Don is now The Homestead. A fitting name for this transition, as “The Don” swayed between the seedy, the creepy and the scary. An overhaul in the last couple of years has turned this place around. There’s food to keep you going, and coming back. Live music from local acts and DJs. In fact, it’s pretty easy to catch a gig in Hobart, it puts some other larger Australian cities to shame (yes, I’m looking at you, Sydney). With a name like The Homestead, you can expect all the charm, warmth and friendliness associated with the title.

This place is a definite beacon of how much Hobart has changed over the last five years, and continues to change for the better. Plus, rumour has it they have oversized Jenga to keep you amused, definitely worth poking your head in.

#4 Preachers

Address: 5 Knopwood Street
Open: Seven days

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Preachers was once a Colonial era house, and in fact as you go in there is a sweet little plaque reminding you that it was the Sailmaker’s Cottage in some far off yesteryear. They’ve retained much of the colonial feel within, except for sticking a bar and a kitchen in it, and slapping an awesome off-beat beer garden onto the side of it.

On any given day, it seems to be a draw for students from the local Art and Music Colleges, and when the sun comes out you’d better get there quick to score a table. This one is the close to the MONA ROMA ferry terminal, and is actually not too far from the main stretch of Salamanca. It’s a great all-weather pub, the indoors is cosy and offers fireplaces and chesterfield couches, while the beer garden’s atmosphere rivals any around the world.

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#5 The Republic

Address: 229 Elizabeth Street
Open: Seven days

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The Republic is a well established and great place to hang out in North Hobart. It’s lively and has gigs galore – national and international acts come and play here to an intimate crowd of music enthusiasts. There’s comedy too, and you can expect a night of local and nationally touring comics to appear in The Comedy Clubhouse upstairs. Check the gig guide to see what’s on while you’re in town, but be prepared for the occasional cover charge.

The bar remains the centrepiece here, and the staff know what they’re doing behind the wheel of a beer tap or wine menu. The beer garden too has long been a meeting place for Hobartians – even in the colder months it is well sheltered and stocked with gas heaters. It’s somewhere you’ll find you keep going back to whenever you’re in Hobart.

#6 Brisbane Hotel

Address: 3 Brisbane Street
Open: Tuesday-Sunday

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A cultural hub of Hobart, looking into the Brisbane Hotel at first is not much, but it’s a guaranteed night out for fans of live music and good beer. The layout is odd – it’s sort of split into two sections, one looks more like your regular bar, the other half feels more like you’re down an alleyway with pinball machines and old table top Space Invaders. There’s a little stage that has played host to many nationally and internationally touring acts. There is often a cover charge, so to see what’s on, check out their Facebook for a complete list of gigs and prices.

Depending on the day of the week, you could be in for some live music, a screening, some local stand-up comedy (even the open mic night can be a real hoot!), or even a spot of bingo on a Sunday (if that’s what you’re after). The bar staff can be a little curt, they know they’re just there to pour you beer, but they do it well and keep the nights flowing. It’s a gritty pub, and any self-respecting hipsters will find themselves at home here.

(Lead image Society/Facebook;All other photos Alex Dick)

Check out Qantas flights to Hobart here.

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