The Hunt For My New Local, Phase 1: The Imperial, South Yarra

Since I moved from Bayside to Toorak I’ve been on the hunt for my new local, and given the huge number of venue in the area, you think I’d be spoilt for choice.

The issue is that I’m picky. Like… Super picky.

  • It needs to be within a 20-minute walk
  • It needs to not play dubstep at any point
  • It needs to be somewhere I can go with friends for a drink or a feed, day or night
  • If needs to have a nice dark corner for me to go to only my laptop and write
  • It needs to have a nice sunny spot I can go to with a book and read
  • And if that wasn’t enough, it needs to have a good selection of both pinot noirs AND beers

The first cab off the rank was The Imperial at 522 Chapel Street, South Yarra. I went with a friend to have a couple of drinks after work on an absolutely sweltering summer night and see what the vibe was like.

The Imperial South Yarra Review

Owned by The Melbourne Venue Company (oh how I love me a good no-nonsense name!) who own and operate iconic venues such as The College Lawn Hotel, Great Britain Hotel, The Duke, The Provincial, etc (the list literally goes on), it’s in good company.

It was a pretty busy evening on Chapel St, so I was pleased to find we got a table right away. Although the entire front of the building is open to Chapel St, they still managed to keep it cool which was lovely, because I was schvitzing like a putz.

The Imperial South Yarra Review

The staff pretty good, but I did seem to wait at the bar longer than was necessary seeing as though I was the only one there, but we soon had our drinks. I got the vibe that this was more of a party bar than an old person (*cough* me *cough*) bar, but it remained relatively classy nonetheless. There were some good pokey corners I could imagine myself settling down into, but the crowd was a bit younger than I had hoped.

The Imperial South Yarra Review

The Facts

  • Walking time from home – 16 minutes
  • Food selection – Menu looks to have a good range, though we didn’t eat this time round
  • Trading hours –
    • Sunday-Thursday: 12pm-late
      Friday – Saturday: 12pm-3am
  • Kitchen hours –
    • Sunday-Thursday: 12pm-9pm
      Friday – Saturday: 12pm-10pm
  • Dark corners – Adequate when quiet
  • Sunny spots – Not so great, as they don’t seem to have a beer garden
  • Dubstep – I think they’d play it at night 🙁 Wahhhh
  • Pinot noir selection – So-so, only 1 or 2 only the glass I think
  • Beer selection – Manageable


The Verdict

I think this could be a backup option for me to head to when my main squeeze is too busy, although I will have to trial their menu (and try more places!) before I make my final decision. Overall it’s not really my scene, but that’s not to say it isn’t good.

The Imperial South Yarra Review

The Imperial South Yarra Review

All photos from The Imperial

3.5 stars

Imperial South Yarra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato