The British might have made an art form of the queue, but in Melbourne we’re not averse to standing in line if there’s a brilliant meal, perfect pair of jeans or ticket to a must-see event in the offing. Here are a few of the fabulous things we’re prepared to queue for.
The National Gallery of Victoria’s Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei exhibition smashed summer attendance records last year, attracting almost 400,000 visitors in fewer than five months. On the exhibition’s final Sunday, almost 9000 people waited in line to get in.
The figures have helped the NGV rank among the world’s top-20 most visited art museums, according to Britain’s The Art Newspaper. So the bar is set high for the current blockbuster Van Gogh and the Seasons, which opened earlier this month.
If you’ve been along to opening night or to any of the Friday night events at the gallery, which combine great music with breaktaking art, you’ll know that lining up is a necessary nuisance to experience masterpieces up close.
- National Gallery of Victoria
- 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Finding the perfect pair of jeans can be a daunting task, but one local factory outlet has been helping denim lovers do just that for more than two decades.
Dejour Jeans has become one of Melbourne’s worst-kept secrets, which is why you’ll find a long line of customers stretching south down Sydney Road on any given Saturday morning waiting to try on a pair.
To ensure consistent quality, owner Nam Huynh sources denim from Australian textile mill Bradmill, and offers free, on-site alterations to make sure you get the best fit.
At around $55 a pair, the jeans are an absolute bargain – which helps explain the queues. But the brand’s fans know that lining up is all part of the fun; it makes the moment you get your jeans in your hand all the more satisfying.
- Dejour Jeans
- 542 Sydney Road, Brunswick
- 9380 4884
Would your grandfather have queued for a haircut or a shave? Maybe not, but then again grandpa probably wasn’t being offered a beer and a blow dry, as at Kings Domain, or a coffee and a cut, as at Barberesso.
The humble barber has morphed from a place for a quick short-back-and-sides into a crucible of cool, where those in the know are prepared to wait in line for an immersive pampering treatment.
Just check out the crowds of savvy, smartly groomed gents lining up for a hot-towel-and-cut-throat shave at Lords of the North or waiting at Uncle Rocco’s Barber Shop (pictured) which boasts a skate rink out the back.
- Kings Domain Barbershop, 1/177 Toorak Road, South Yarra, 1/12 Collins Street, Melbourne, and 154 Greville Street, Prahran. kingsdomain.com.au
- Barberesso, 6 King Street, Prahran. barberesso.com.au
- Lords of the North, 895 High Street, Thornbury. lotnbarber.com
- Uncle Rocco’s Barber Shop, 1 Fennell Street, Port Melbourne. uncleroccos.com.au
We all know Melbourne is a sport-obsessed city. From football to rugby league, rubgy union, soccer and tennis, we can’t get enough. Online ticketing has largely brought an end to queuing overnight to get your hands on an AFL grand final ticket, but still hundreds lined up outside Princes Park in February in the hope of seeing the first match of the AFL women’s league. A capacity crowd of 24,500 squeezed into the ground and hundreds missed out – many of whom were still queuing at half time.
Whether you’re craving mouth-watering asian fusion at Chin Chin, fabulous French toast at The Hardware Societe, world-renowned croissants from Lune Croissanterie, or flavours that tickle the tastebuds at Gelato Messina, melbourne has it all.
the only problem is, you’ll likely have to wait patiently in line with fellow foodies for the privilege of tasting them. Fans of Chris lucas’ frenetic mod-thai gastrotemple think nothing of standing in line for two hours to secure a table at Chin Chin, and crowds commonly start queuing outside lune’s Fitzroy bakery from 5am for a chance to bite into one of its buttery, flakey pastries.
is it really worth the wait? the length of the queues every weekend speak for themselves.
- Lune Croissanterie, 119 rose street, Fitzroy. lunecroissanterie.com
- The Hardware Societe, 120 Hardware street, melbourne. 9078 5992
- Chin Chin, 125 Flinders lane, melbourne. chinchinrestaurant.com.au
- Gelato Messina, 237 smith street, Fitzroy, 171 Chapel street, Windsor, and 164 swan street, richmond. gelatomessina.com