In a decaying laneway, in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling Chinatown strip, sits the most permanent pop up bar that the city has ever known.

Known to locals as Section 8, the popular watering hole popped up in 2007 and has been standing ever since.


When Section 8 first set up camp in an abandoned open-air car park, the now popular trend of shipping container architecture was only just gathering steam in Australia.

Owner Maz Salt told Good Food: “Section 8 was Australia’s first venue that exclusively used recycled and industrial materials and featured shipping containers to create a local hangout.”


Eight years on, the pioneering pop up bar still rates as one of the city’s most popular haunts.

The Section 8 fit out is decidedly raw.

Salt simply parked an old portable shipping container in an empty Chinatown parking lot, converted it into a basic bar, stacked a collection of wooden shipping palettes about the space for seating, installed a decent sound system, and draped a few red festive lanterns overhead.


The result is an unusual hybrid of industrial junkyard meets Chinatown chic – and Melburnians just love it.

With its eclectic vibes and makeshift charm, this pop up bar is here to stay.