In the late 1800s the Mechanics Institute was a place for the lower class to upskill and elevate themselves into the working class. In honour of this, there are practice pieces of machinery stuck to the wall today.

There's the same sense of personality here as at sister venues Dominion League and Mrs Brown, also owned by Siobhan Blumann and Hamish Fleming.

Nowadays, though, the only mechanics here are those of the bartending variety. They know their spirits and drink mixing, but they don’t take things too seriously. Hence the inflatable bottle of Malibu above the bar.

Mechanics Institute has a particular fondness for rye whiskey. The cocktail list is short but changes every couple of days, with just one exception. The house cocktail. Hillbilly Bob’s Ruckus Juice, is a mix of lager, fresh lime juice, orgeat, spiced rum and ginger beer. It’s the biggest seller. Wine, craft beer and cider round out the arsenal.

Occasionally, a whiff of freshly baked bread makes its way up from the Flipside Burger joint directly below. The sister venue’s full menu of beef, chicken and vegetarian burgers is always available to order in.

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Updated: November 1st, 2023

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