This rockabilly haven is well named

People dress up to come to the Gem. It may look like Just Another Corner Pub (and once sported the unglamorous title of Curry’s Family Hotel), but you’re entering a church of rock’n’roll and most punters respectfully wear their rockabilly best. You don’t have to be rocking a mad quaff or ‘50s frock to drink here though. It’s a place for anyone who likes Coopers, Texas barbecue and a toe-tapping good time. The snug, wood-panelled interior is decorated in a style that might be described as ‘Texas meets Mexico and challenges it to a switchblade fight’. Elvis LPs and cowboy boots vie for space with luchador masks, sugar skulls and light-up religious statuettes. Musicians perform most nights of the week, but since there’s no stage, they simply set up on a spot near the front door whether it’s one man with a guitar or a full band. It’s a tight fit, especially if toe tapping evolves into full throttle swing dancing. Try your luck out front, but smoking is still embraced with 1950s enthusiasm among the Gem crowd, so summer competition for curb seats is tough. This is very much a locals bar. Some nights it seems that half the people in the joint know one another, but that just makes for a fun and intimate atmosphere, so break out the Brylcreem, roll up your T-shirt sleeves and get your rockabilly on in the suburbs.

Who won the Melbourne pub awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |  

The Gem details

289 Wellington St

Collingwood 3066

Nearby Stations: Clifton Hill

Telephone 03 9419 5170

Price per person including drinks from $1.00 to $50.00

Open Tue-Thu 3-11pm; Fri noon-1am; Sat 1pm-1am; Sun 1-11pm

The Gem website

Collingwood area guide

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