First published on 14 Feb 2011. Updated on 9 Feb 2012.
1. Those in search of someone who accessorises their vintage Ray Bans with kitsch tattoos should seek out the LuWow in Fitzroy. It’s tiki-tastic with thatched huts, a stuffed shark and go-go dancers in the back room. And fairly dark. The drinks are as tiki drinks should be: long, strong and complete with hilarious garnishes. If you can’t find something in those surrounds as a talking point, you may be in trouble.
2. If you're seeking that illusive GSOH (LOL), get to the Local Taphouse in St Kilda. Every Monday is comedy night so it’s the perfect opportunity to discover if the future love of your life has a laugh like a castrated hyena – or just doesn't get the joke. Once the gig's over and you've vetted the crowd for sexists and dad-joke enthusiasts, get to mingling. If the comedy hasn’t helped break the ice, 20 different beers on tap will.
3. Want to pick up someone with a glowing tan who looks good even when twearing coloured denim and high-top trainers? Specifically, the Vineyard in St Kilda is for you. There’s plenty of space for people watching, which is handy, because every eligible bachelor/ette will be showing off as hard as they possibly can. It's like unofficial speed dating. If you score, there are plenty of cosy leather couches inside for oh-so public displays of affection.
4. Looking for the sort of guy or girl who wears Morrissey glasses, raids op shops religiously and rides a fixie? The answer is at the Kodiak Club in Fitzroy. Bare Naked Trivia on a Wednesday night is a good way to get a conversation started. There's a good chance someone who knows all the names to obscure 80s movies will write exactly the sort of blog that floats your boat.
5. For a city worker too cool for Melbourne's laneways and rooftops (y'know – not one of those rats in the rat race), head to the footbridge under the Yarra known as Ponyfish Island. It's hard not to make friends when the crowd leaves you with about two inches of personal space. Plus the bartenders here are demons, so everyone is always guaranteed to be socially lubricated. Bonus pick-up potential in the tourists who may have got lost on their way from Southbank.
6. Perhaps you're after an epicurean who loves wine and can talk about it without sounding like a tosser, in which case head to Gerald's Bar in Carlton. It’s the sort of place where you can show up alone – many do, and the bartenders enjoy nothing better than meddling. So even if you’re shy, they’re likely to make introductions. Take a book and prop it up at the bar.
7. If your dream guy wears his collar turned up and your dream girl’s skirt could sometimes be mistaken for a belt, then all roads lead to Silk Road in the city. Red carpet is rolled out onto Collins Street, and the ceiling is dripping with chandeliers. Remember to dress up to get past the door staff, load up your credit card and watch out for the MBAs (married but availables).
8. It’s hard not to pick up when you can dance to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. If all you’re lacking is a patch of D-floor and a decent DJ, head straight to the Bridge Hotel. Once you have explored all the alleyways in the pub, make sure you're downstairs for the main event – the DJ really gets going at around 11pm.
9. Not sure if you are after a SAM (single Asian male), BHM (big handsome man) or a BiF (bisexual female)? The Horse Bazaar in the city attracts all types on a Tuesday night. After all, nobody’s going to refuse a deal like the $20 pamper package of a massage, plate of dumplings and a drink. Once everyone is relaxed, fed and watered, they're bound to be predisposed to picking up.
10. To score a blonde with a double-barreled surname, the place to go is Morris Jones. This converted warehouse in Prahran is artfully distressed, with exposed bricks and a living wall of greenery. Acoustic music at Morris Jones’ Sunday sessions from 5pm-8pm draws the crowds and gives you something to stare desperately at if conversation flails. This is the best time and place to compare your ranking on the BRW rich list.