Prahran & South Yarra

Prahran & South Yarra

Stylish bars and late night clubs

Stylish bars and late night clubs

South Yara, Prahran and Windsor are adjacent suburbs stretching south from the Yarra river connected by the seemingly endless Chapel Street. Each suburb has a distinct feel but have the rambling Chapel street in common with its neverending dining, drinking and shopping options. 

Between the 1890s and 1930s, Prahran rivalled the CBD as a major shopping and entertainment district. Many grand department stores and theatres opened along Chapel street. Some of these have since been destroyed, but many remain and make the area architecturally significant with many buildings on the Victorian Heritage Register

During the 1990s, the area solidified as Melbourne's gay village with many gay bars, clubs, cafes and stores opening in the area. Commercial Road was the epicentre of this scene with two anchor gay bars - the Xchange and the Market. Many of these establishments closed throughout the 2000s and with the closure of the Xchange and the Market in 2011, the centre of Melbourne's LGBT+ scene moved to the Collingwood-Fitzroy area whose queer venues were rising in popularity. However, the area still retains a high gay population and several queer nightlife options. The two former queer meccas the Xchange (now known as the Osborne) and the Market (now known as the Emerson), both host Sunday events targeted at the queer community.

As the name suggests, South Yarra is on the southern bank of the Yarra River and its location gives the suburb an upmarket feel. The South Yarra stretch of Chapel street is the most upmarket of the three suburbs. The high-end fashion stores and boutiques are clustered around South Yarra. Cultural hub The Jam Factory, which screens the Queer Film Festival, is located on this stretch of Chapel street,

The retail and dining options continue along the Prahran stretch of Chapel street. However, there are fewer high-end boutiques and more box-style stores like JB Hifi and Chemist Warehouse. You’ll also find a wide array of quirky and independent stores, cafes, restaurants and bars.

Continuing south on Chapel street, you reach the suburb of Windsor. This is the quieter end of the street, however, still has plenty of good drinking and dining options including Hawker Hall which is part of the Lucas empire (of Chin Chin fame) and the quirky and beautiful Holy Grail. At the southernmost end of the commercial part of Chapel street is the Railway Hotel which hosts a popular gay Sunday seshion. Beyond the Railway, Chapel street mostly turns into residential housing.

Commercial road runs perpendicular to Chapel street and forms the boundarary between South Yarra and Prahran. This street used to be the centre of Melbourne's gay scene, but this title has since moved to Collingwood (see insert above). The Osborne and the Emerson host gay special events on Sundays. You can also find the popular Prahran Market on Commercial road for all your food and fresh produce needs. The market is housed in a beautiful historical building and is a tourist attraction in its own right.

A small street just off Chapel street, but miles away from the hustle and bustle of the busy commercial strip. Greville street was once the epicentre of bohemian culture in Melbourne and has retained an independent, boutique feel. There are several great dining and drinking options including Jono's Piano Bar which is popular with a queer crowd.

Toorak Road is a major cross street to Chapel street and continues south Yarra’s offering of dining and shopping.


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1 /public/album_photo/8e/27/82f436558235b084999031741a057d28.jpg /public/album_photo/8f/27/9fddacc59390d0a93b4b8449858e34ab.jpg Prahran Market Fresh produce at Prahran Market
Image: Beau
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Prahran Market
Fresh produce at Prahran Market
Image: Beau
Mostly queer
Mixed queer and straight
Hosts queer events