The night is hosted by Freida Commitment. Image: Beau

Drag, Wine and Dine on the Chapel Street Strip

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Prahran and South Yarra may no longer be the centre of Melbourne’s queer scene, but you can still catch a drag show on the Chapel street strip every Friday night.

Drag cabaret is being served up weekly at Speakeasy Kitchen Bar in South Yarra. Host Freida Commitment and her merry band of drag performers provide entertainment while you wine and dine on a menu of Mediterranean tapas-style dishes.

It all sounds great in theory. Unfortunately on the night we attended, there were a few incidents that made it a less-than-ideal experience - lost orders, placement of our table so we couldn’t see the show, and then the atomic blast - the chef walked out part way through the night. The general manager tried his darndest to make things right. However, the problems soon became insurmountable (how do you provide the dine in Drag, Wine & Dine with no chef?).

The hospitality industry has had a tough time after covid so let's give the venue the benefit of the doubt and assume these problems are due to staff shortages. The place has a solid 4.3 out of 5 Google Review, so evidently most guests have a good experience.

Was our night at Drag Wine & Dine the greatest night out that we came home raving about? No, but it’s a drag show, not fine dining. If you live in the area and you’re looking for a local option, it’s worth checking out.


Speakeasy Kitchen Bar is located on Chapel street near the intersection with Commercial Road; right in the frothy centre of Chapel street and easily reachable by tram.


Your host for the evening is Freida Commitment who guides you through the night’s entertainment. Freida is joined by special guests who compete to win over the crowd and be crowned the night’s winner.

I was expecting a cabaret-style dinner show with humour and guest interaction. Afterall, it’s hard to hoot and holler when you’re sitting down to a meal.  It was more of a high-energy floorshow with the queens vying to whip the crowd into the biggest frenzy. The show was similar to what you’d see at 2am at your local gay bar.

There was nothing particularly clever or innovative about the drag, but it was fun and energetic and the lively crowd certainly got into it.

A drag queen will elaborate blonde wig performs to the crowd Queens compete to win the crowd over


With drag becoming more and more mainstream, I was curious if a drag cabaret night would attract an older, straight crowd (as drag brunches tend to do)...and I was right. Rupaul has brought a huge female following to drag and this was represented in the crowd. However, I was surpised to see a noticable queer representation. It had the feel of a gay bar crossed with drag brunch - a mix of queer people, girls and straight couples.

I couldn’t tell if the competing queens had brought their own fanclubs, but the crowd was extremely raucous. At times I couldn’t tell if the blood-curdling screams were in support of their queen or if a knife-wielding maniac was on the loose.

When to Go

Drag Wine & Dine is a weekly event on Fridays. The venue is open Thursday to Sunday, however, on other nights, you’ll be dining without the feathers and glitter of the drag show.

The entertainment kicks off around 8:30pm, which is a little late to eat (Europeans might disagree) so our group met for nibblies beforehand.

Sign reading The entertainment kicks off 8:30pm on Fridays


Menu options include an à la carte menu of Mediterranean dishes such as haloumi, baba ganoush, lamb kofta etc.  The menu tends more towards pub dishes such as chicken parmigiana. 

Our group opted for the shared tapas and meat platter at $35 per person which seemed like good value. However, with the chef walking out part way through the night, our meal wasn’t served in full so it’s hard to comment on whether this was a good option.


Food and drink prices are reasonable; comparable to what you might pay at your local pub. A la carte mains are around $30 and the shared tapas platter is $35 per person.

In the past, the venue has charged $10 per person ticket price. However at the time we attended, there was no cost.