Late-night hijinks are just the start at this wild club/pub
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When all the charming small bars are shooing their punters out into the cold, the warm, sticky interior of the Flinders Hotel is kicking on until the breaka breaka dawn. The hulking central bar is the beating heart of this heaving party beast, lit by colourful festoon lighting on chains and looking like it was decorated by a carnie hoarder. Pull up a pew and order a cocktail if things are still quiet, or, if the Flinders has reached critical mass, quick-pour beers, house wine or spirits are the go. The bartenders are a mob of handsomely scruffy fellas with the sleeves ripped off their T-shirts, tattoos and piercings aplenty and a bit of a taste for flairtending, but they move quickly when it’s rush hour. The tunes haven’t changed much over the years, They’ll still bust out Elvis, Ritchie Valens and the Strokes, ensuring that everyone is familiar enough with the playlist to sing the chorus, at least. The dance floor generally begins in the far right corner and then spreads to wherever you happen to be standing. If your wallet is feeling a little light they do a generous happy hour 6-8pm every night with five-buck house spirits, four-buck beers and cocktails for a tenner. Sadly, the upstairs Duke Bistro has closed. We are assured something will be opening in its stead by the end of the year but until then, take a trip around the corner to Mr Crackles.