169 Exhibition St. Melbourne 03 9663 7722

1806, the year that defined the Cocktail.

Since its humble beginnings in 2007, 1806 has very quickly reached international recognition, winning the award for “The Worlds Best Cocktail Menu” in 2008, less than a year after opening its doors. Since then it has become firmly steeped in Melbourne cocktail culture, attracting the finest mixologists from Melbourne and abroad.

The 1806 teams amazing attention to detail from preparation to service is world class and we pride ourselves on the unique expertise of each of our individual mixologists and hostesses/hosts.

We don’t just make amazing cocktails we also serve them with a story, our aforementioned award winning cocktail menu tells the history of the world through the bottom of a glass. Starting in the mid 1700’s with the Fish House Punch, the drinks list contains a different cocktail from almost every decade as well as their notable descendants. There is literally a drink to suit every palate all accompanied by a short but informative anecdote regarding their origin.

1806 is Melbourne’s most unique, full service, cocktail bar. Combining “prohibition-era” decor, and quirky, insightful staff, with a repertoire of classic cocktails to please everyone from the casual patron to the connoisseur, 1806 is an experience like no other.


1806 – 10th birthday press release


In a city known for its nightlife with new bars opening all the time, it’s a true milestone for us at 1806 to be celebrating our 10th birthday on September 1st. History plays a big part in everything we do, with a comprehensive menu boasting drinks from the 18th century to the present, honouring every decade since 1806, the year the cocktail was defined. But what about our own history? How did we get here and what have we achieved along the way? Let us share our story so far, one that’s based on love, passion and tradition.


It all began on the night of September 1st 2007, the very first function hosted here for our owner Lisa Kelly’s engagement party. Unbeknown to all the guests it was to be a surprise wedding, the start of her new life in more ways than one. She is proud to be one of few females in Melbourne’s hospitality industry to be sole director of a thriving business that is constantly recognised and awarded, not only for its drinks but also its service. While staff have naturally come and go, Lisa has surrounded herself with a reliable team whose main focus has been and always will be to look after every single person who walks through the door. In order to make sure we maintain our standards we hire experienced bartenders from around the globe who bring their own style and flavour to the beverages they create, making the venue a melting pot of cultures. Some of these staff both past and present have also gone on to be nominated for and win major industry awards, and it makes us proud to know that we have played a part in their success.


While nearly every bar does cocktails, we pride ourselves on being a quality high volume cocktail bar and have even published our own book which was recognised at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, where we were the first Australian bar to win an award. Everything is done with flourish and flair, with theatre a big part of what we do, earning us a reputation within Melbourne’s bar industry and also with savvy drinkers who want to be engaged and entertained. Our menu of standards and classics is built upon every three months and we introduce seasonal cocktails to keep our offering fresh and varied, with whisky and cheese flights a popular option for those who love their neat spirits. The kitchen is also the busiest it’s ever been and we regularly adapt our food offering to match the current drinks so that guests can enjoy a complete experience.


We have hosted events like Negroni Week, Campari Red Night, Diageo World Class Cocktail Week, as well as Good Beer Week and now produce our own beer that we serve at the bar. 1806 was also the chosen venue for Pink’s tour wrap-up party and we’ve had Robert De Niro pop in on several occasions when in Melbourne for one of our martinis. What many don’t know is that we often get asked to cater and run external events too, such as H&M’s Australian launch and we collaborated with Skyy Vodka to produce all the cocktails for Melbourne Fashion Week.


We may have done a lot in the time since we were born and while many things have changed in the past decade, so much has remained the same. This is our opportunity to celebrate a milestone which proves the bar has made its mark on our city and is a Melbourne institution. We are proud to be recognised as a popular destination for the discerning drinker and innovators in the field of mixology. 1806 may be the year that defined the cocktail but 2017 is the year that defines our future.

The year that defined the cocktail

169 Exhibition St. Melbourne
03 9663 7722

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  • Cocktail bar of the year VIC 2013
  • Best marketed venue 2012
  • Bar operator of the year 2010
  • Best cocktail list in the world 2008