Melbourne Is Getting A New Pontoon Bar & Restaurant On The Yarra

Yarra Botanicals melbourne

For years, the Yarra was only enjoyed as a place for high school rowing teams to train, and South Bank officer workers to complain about. That was until 2015, when the first floating bar was launched for the summer and the river became a new focal point for Melbourne’s nightlife, serving as the perfect spot for enjoying a Spritz while the sun sets. This year, Melbourne is getting a new floating bar and restaurant called Yarra Botanica, bringing even more vibrant energy to the famous river.

Sure, Melbourne doesn’t have quite the same waterfront offerings as its northern neighbours in Sydney, but the buzzing hospitality scene down south is certainly making the most of what they have. The new Yarra Botanica establishment is being set up by the team at Australian Venue Co., which operate more than 170 venues around Australia.

Unlike the original floating watering hole in Arbory Afloat, which has typically only operated during the warmer summer months due to its open-air outfitting, Yarra Botanicals is set to be open year-round. The new pontoon bar and eatery is expected to open in just a couple of months, with a date in March to be confirmed.



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As you might expect from the name, Yarra Botanica will have a heavy infusion of local flora, including climbing vines, native trees, planter boxes, and more. The multi-level venue will also feature herb gardens and edible plants that will be used in the extensive and gin-focused drinks list.

Yarra Botanicals will also offer a space to celebrate local Victorian produce, with 100% of the drinks menu being sourced from around Victoria, as well as the majority of food. The small percentage of the ingredients that were not produced in Victoria will still be locally sourced from within Australia.

“We’ve committed to investing $20 million into Victorian beverages over three years, and are proud to support the Drinks Victoria campaign,” said Paul Waterson, the CEO of Australian Venue Co.

“We list Victorian products across all of our Victorian venues but to be able to deliver 100% Victorian drinks and 90% Victorian produce is a really exciting milestone for us, as a Melbourne-based hospitality group.”

So if you enjoy an afterword drink on the river as much as the rest of Melbourne, keep an eye on the Yarra in the coming months as the March opening of Yarra Botanica approaches.