Old Bar Owners Expand To Regional Victoria
News posted Saturday, December 3 2011 at 12:00 AM.
Related: The Old Bar, The Bridge Hotel, Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine.
The owners of Melbourne’s Old Bar have expanded their operations to regional Victoria.
Liam Matthews, Singa Unlayiti and Joel Morrison have today (December 21) announced their acquisition of the freehold for the Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine (in the Central Victorian goldfields, about 120 kilometres northwest of Melbourne).
As of March 1 2012, the venue will reopen under the management of Brendan Noonan and Kat Hamilton, who have formerly managed The Northcote Social Club in Melbourne and The Old Bar, respectively. (Although you might know Noonan better as frontman of The Stabs.) The pair plan to host gigs in the new year, with an official launch slated for the “not too distant future”.
“Live music is an integral part of our plan for The Bridge Hotel, but realistically it's going to take a bit of time for us to get that up and running,” Noonan told M+N. “The pubs we've been involved in past in the have been music venues. That's what we know and love so it's definitely going to be part of The Bridge. We also plan to serve up some great food and hope build on what is a great local pub.”
Nestled in the Central Victorian goldfields, Castlemaine is home to the historic Theatre Royal, which will play host to the Dirty Three in March next year.
Purchased by Matthews, Unlayiti and Morrison in 2007, The Old Bar celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a round of gigs in April this year. In an interview at the time with M+N, Matthews said the one-time Spanish restaurant was the perfect fit for the trio; two of whom previously owned The Afterdark in Northcote.
“It had everything that we needed to continue trying to achieve our goals of running a venue, it was bigger than what we had and it was in Fitzroy. There was very little to think about other than, ‘How do we get it?’”
The Bridge Hotel is located at 21 Walker Street, Castlemaine.