Smokers Review: 161 Rooftop

Words: Iman Athira

Event: The Breakfast Club (Weekly Monday day/night)

You trudge up the stairs that lead to the 161 rooftop and find yourself caught in a scene that straight up looks like a European open-air club. Only it’s in Melbourne. On Chapel Street. On a Monday morning. You must have had a pretty exciting weekend if you ended up here. Unless you’re one of those hospitality kids, in which case, this is your weekend.

Welcome to the Breakfast Club.

Whether it is named after that 90s cult classic, or because of its 9am-3am opening hours, this faux-tropical wonderland will cater to all your needs, durry related and otherwise.

Just don’t forget to bring your sunglasses.

The rooftop that doubles as a dance-floor and smoking area oozes summer vibes. The best part about this place is that you can dance with a drink in one hand and a ciggie in the other. The combination of open space, sunshine and sleazy tech house mean that you can pretend like reality doesn’t exist for the next twelve hours. The worst part of this place is the line to the toilets. Enough said.

Come mid-day, you find yourself looking around in bewilderment. All your friends decide to leave, but there’s no way you’re going just yet, not after you had to pay $15 to get in. Plus, the only thing worse than doing the walk of shame down Chapel St on a Sunday, is doing it on a Monday, still dressed in Friday’s clothes.


In despair, you realize that you’ve already run out of tobacco.

“Hey, can I bum a cigarette?” you ask the girl next to you, desperation dripping from your voice. You decide she will be your best friend for the day, because she already is way cooler than your lame friends who left, and way cooler than your friends who never showed up in the first place.

Since it is the only establishment in Melbourne open on a Monday morning, there are times where you will be met with blank stares and very loud, sometimes incomprehensible chatter, but people here are generally very welcoming.

If you find yourself still standing when the music stops at 10pm, confused and itching for more, well, you definitely deserve the enjoyment of one last rooftop durry before joining the rest of the space cadets who are all your brand new accomplices on the dance-floor downstairs.

Now be prepared for a life of forging doctor’s letters to get out of all your Monday commitments. But hey, at least you’ll be having a sick one.

The 161 rooftop smokers gets a rating of: 5/5 darts

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Photo credit: The Breakfast Club Facebook