Little Peninsula is an aptly named bar as it is very small and hidden away in Little Lonsdale Street amongst all the bigger streets in Melbourne’s CBD. While its secludedness may add some charm to the place for some people, it also makes it a very easy place to miss. Considering most bar hoppers and clubbers would stick to the main streets to find a place to drink up at, they would only be heading towards Little Peninsula if they were going to go there to begin with or walking through Little Lonsdale Street to get to the next main street.
Little Peninsula is a cafe during the daytime, so there are both outdoor and indoor tables for customers to sit at to have their coffees, and the setup is no different at night except for the caffeine-filled beverages being replaced with booze. The drinks are reasonably priced, consisting of various types of shots and wines to choose from, but only a handful of beers, so Little Peninsula is the type of place that caters more for people with a taste for fancy imported drinks. It is a very small place and according to Little Peninsula’s website its maximum capacity is 60 people, so you will probably feel cramped in there and will want to go out into the street for a stretch or to have a smoko.
The atmosphere leaves much to be desired though, simply because there is not much of an atmosphere at all! Little Peninsula is the type of place you really need a good group of friends to go with as there is not much to do there besides sitting around the tables and getting into the grog. The music played is mostly pop or rap or RNB songs from the past 25 or so years, ranging from Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, ‘N Sync’s ‘Bye Bye Bye’, Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’, right up to recent chart toppers like Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby Baby’. The music is catchy and can be danced to, but there is no dance floor! On a quieter night, patrons could dance around on what little space there is, even if it is just so they have something to do besides sitting around the tables, but there would be no chance of that happening when the place is packed. Not being able to even dance to the music might be very frustrating to some patrons who will get bored and leave as there really is nothing else to do there.
Having said all that, Little Peninsula has its good qualities too. While it may be lacking in atmosphere, it is not an unfriendly place. The bartenders are relaxed and friendly and will even let you bring in some outside food like pizza, and the patrons seem like a friendly bunch of people who are mostly in their mid-20s, some of whom will come up to you for a chat, which may be partially due to the fact you are all cramped up like sardines in a confined space and cannot find anything better to do. Little Peninsula can be hired on Sunday to Wednesday nights and weekend days for functions, making it a good place to have private parties at if the guests do not mind not having much room to dance on. While it is not a bad place to go to, Little Peninsula is definitely more of a place to have a few drinks at rather than to party at all night.
By Matt Wilson for Melbourne Bars, Perth Bars and Brisbane Bars