Time Out Melbourne

Brunswick has music in its veins and its heart is the Retreat

The Brunswick legend has it all: good cheap beer, good cheap food, a 1920s cocktail bar upstairs and a shady beer garden the size of a cricket pitch. But more than anything the quirky old pub on Sydney Road is cherished for music. The dining room out back features a rickety old stage and doubles as music hall for headline gigs. It’s a welcome departure from the segregation of so many band rooms. On weeknights, you’re more likely to see the magic happening up front, as killer blues bands rock out right next to the bar, the room plastered floor to ceiling with gig posters and dusty bits of beer arcana.

There’s no space here where the music doesn’t belong, and the flaky old building can barely contain it as the sounds of good people making good tunes flow into the street. The Retreat is just that – a place away from the density and concrete of inner-city living and a welcome reminder of the things Melbourne does best.

Which Melbourne bar is the best?

Updated on 18 May 2015.

By Fred Siggins   |  

Retreat Hotel details

280 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056

Telephone 03 9380 4090

Open Mon-Thu, Sun noon-1am; Fri, Sat noon-3am

Retreat Hotel website

Retreat Hotel map

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