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HOT: Imperial Hotel Rooftop Bar, Melbourne

Melbourne is arguably the home of Harry Potter in Australia! In case you’ve been under a (Muggle) rock, tickets are selling for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child until 2020 (you can buy tickets here), Australia’s largest Harry Potter store is at Myer Melbourne, there’s a dedicated Harry Potter shop in Collingwood…and now a place where you can eat Harry Potter-themed food and drink Harry Potter-themed drinks, all in a space modelled on Diagon Alley!

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The Imperial Hotel on the corner of Bourke Street and Spring Street has transformed its rooftop bar into the magical pop-up space. It was originally called ‘Vertic Alley’ – but after some legal action by Warner Bros for alleged intellectual property infringement it closed suddenly in May. After a month-long hiatus, the Imperial Hotel Rooftop Bar is now back with a more toned-down version of the original concept.

My photos are from the first set up – so note that not all elements will be the same when you visit. For instance, there are four brand new magical stores filled with wizard and witch fashion, supernatural sweets, potions and broomsticks, along with a brand new cocktail list. All rooftop booths now have a large marquee to keep you toasty warm and dry throughout the colder months.

The new magical booths/shops include Spring Street Spell Books…

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….and Parliament Wands based on Flourish & Botts.

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Each of them has various views of the plane trees of Spring Street, Parliament House and the Bourke Street trams, with dividers between each booth for privacy.

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Booths can be booked in advance for large groups but if you go at non-peak times it’s easier to find a spot, even if you have to share a booth with others as each fits up to 20 people. Each booth has two to three tables and wooden bench seating on the perimeter.

The Imperial Hotel Rooftop Bar menu includes fun Harry Potter themed food as well as items for non-magical folk.

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As I am there with Lady AB and Baby 2.0 we start with a Non-alcoholic Buttah Beer ($8) which is basically creaming soda with a bouffant of synthetic whipped cream and dusting of cinnamon.

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The fizzy drink is a super-sweet butterscotchy flavour and neither child likes it. To be honest it’s really only useful for photographic purposes. The alcoholic version, which comes in a stein, looks much better! Naturally, there are magical potions i.e. cocktails available too.

For food we try the Pumpkin Pasties ($16) puff pastry rounds with a smidgen of pureed pumpkin inside; Gillyweed tacos ($14) filled with kingfish ceviche and Japanese seaweed yet curiously made with hard taco shells Old El Paso style; and Sirius Black sliders ($15).

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The latter is perfect for kids as they are basically mini cheeseburgers.

Platter and jug deals are available from $50.

We are too full to try the desserts, which include Sirius Black ice cream (black sesame) and Buttah Beer ice cream (presumably butterscotch), both $4.

Imperial Hotel Rooftop Bar is a fun place to meet friends and family if you’re Harry Potter fans. It’s basically a hop, skip and jump from the Princess Theatre that’s showing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in case you’re in need to sustenance between Parts One and Two.

If you’re not a Harry Potter fan then, to be honest, I think there are better restaurants and better rooftops to hang out at. It does have the advantage of being particularly kid-friendly because of its theme, though note that once you’ve admired all the shops there’s not actually anything for kids to do there.

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Don’t forget to take a photo of Undesirable No 1 on your way out!

Best Harry Potter experiences in Melbourne

Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Buy discount tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with Melbourne Airport Skybus transfers

Click here for Amazon’s Harry Potter Store


Tips for Harry Potter Melbourne rooftop bar:

  • All rooftop booths (stores) are housed underneath a large marquee;
  • Stores can be reserved for group 10-20 guests but reservations are not available on Friday nights.
  • If you have a smaller group, just drop in, no reservation required; and
  • there is an elevator that takes you up to rooftop if you need.

This post contains affiliate links. If you book using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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