The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (2024)

The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (1)

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This 1920s art nouveau building was one of Melbourne’s first so-called ‘vertical laneways’. Make your way up the iconic staircase to unearth the secret boutiques, restaurants and bars hidden inside.

Level 1: Feast in a Thai beer hall


The tenant that put Curtin House on the map was Cookie. A bar, Thai restaurant and club rolled into one, this venue is a Melbourne stalwart. Perfect pad thai and sticky beef ribs are served with hand-picked gin co*cktails, margaritas and Trappist monk inspired beer. On weekends the kitchen closes around 10.30pm but stick around until midnight and enjoy the disco.

The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (2)

Level 2: Catch free jazz gigs

The Toff in Town

One of Melbourne’s most beloved live music haunts, The Toff boasts a stellar line-up of live acts. Stop by the band room every Tuesday for free jazz club nights.Or come on the weekend for bands spanning the genres. Across the stairwell you'll find the late-night bar. For a little privacy, sidle into one of the secluded train carriage booths with a co*cktail. Cookie's menu is available to order straight to your carriage too.

Level 3: Shop for rare finds

PAM Store

For max street-cred, local designer Perks and Mini is your go-to. And it's not just for the clothes. PAM Store is adorned with handmade concrete sculptures, obscure art and other oddities. Peruse the racks of international labels and cult-status PAM pieces. You’ll find utterly left-of-centre streetwear and rare collabs.

The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (3)


Find retro fashion with the emphasis on luxe at Reina. Newly imported from the Nicholas Building, this vintage wonderland stocks European and Japanese designer labels like Chanel and Issey Miyake. We’re talking high-end couture from the early ’90s to mid-2000s. All pieces are one-off archival gems so pop in to see what you can score. Perhaps a ‘90s revival slip dress, or a classic kaleidoscopic Pucci print.

Metropolis Books

Calling all bookworms and word nerds. If you’re looking for creative inspiration, Metropolis Books is for you. Culture vultures will love the selection of specialist books on art, graphic design, music, film and architecture. Searching for a rare read? The crew has access to a huge database of books from across the globe.

The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (4)

Level 4: Browse luxe fashion and homewares

Saloon Store

Level four leads us to Saloon Store. A dreamy new boutique filled with pretty and playful designs for your home and wardrobe. Sift through sweet indie designer fashion. Then browse the expertly curated range of homewares. Think handcrafted Japanese paper lamps, photography books and dainty porcelain plates.


Travel upstairs and find your cardio reward in the form of dot COMME, spread across floors three and four. Curated by an obsessive collector and fashion fanatic, this striking store has some of the best in archival Japanese design. The shop itself is a piece of art, with interiors by Sibling Architecture and glossy furniture from design pioneer Gaetano Pesce. This city icon is dedicated to labels including Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto.

The ultimate guide to Curtin House - What's On Melbourne (5)

Level 6: Score $10 happy hour margaritas

Mesa Verde

When it’s time for a fiesta – or just a weeknight treat – head to the sixth floor. In a cool old-meets-new space, Mesa Verde serves bold and beautiful takes on traditional Mexican fare. Think smoky grilled corn esquites. Or BBQ kingfish with miso-chipotle adobo. Oh, and did we mention it has one of Australia’s largest collections of tequila and mezcal? Get in early for $10 margaritas during happy hour. It runs from 4pm to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

Level 7: Soar up to Melbourne’s most iconic rooftop bar

Rooftop Bar

Slogging up seven flights of stairs for the best views in the city – it’s a Melburnian rite of passage. Or you can take the lift, which is known for being a little grungy but fully functional. This sky-high spot keeps things cosy when the weather cools down. Order hot toddies and steaming cups of mulled wine. Or sink your teeth into a juicy cheeseburger from the pop-up Burger Shack.

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Last updated on Mon 6 May 2024

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