Reborn Espy rejuvenates St Kilda’s image as home of city’s nightlife


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“The Gerswhin Room is the MCG of music for lots of people, it’s actually hallowed turf,” Mr Maskiell stated.

“To not have the most effective band rooms and finest music and humanities inns in Melbourne working has been an actual disgrace.

“To have new life in it, to have it up and about and up on its toes, I believe it’s symbolic of a very vivid future within the space.”

Live music is returning to the Espy.

Dwell music is returning to the Espy.Credit score:Joe Armao

Mr Maskiell is one among 5 companions at hospitality group Sand Hill Street, which purchased the Espy 18 months in the past.

The eye to element the crew have delivered to the beloved resort is breathtaking.

Constructed to carry 17,000 folks, their imaginative and prescient was for it to deal with a various vary of leisure venues – from the “put on what you want” previous public bar to a brand new lift-serviced high-end cocktail bar – whereas remaining interconnected.

Lined with 1980s Espy band posters, the general public bar has retained its grungy really feel and is aimed to offer a spot for up-and-coming bands to chop their tooth.

The reopened Esplanade Hotel's old public bar will be "wear what you want".

The reopened Esplanade Lodge’s previous public bar will likely be “put on what you need”.Credit score:Joe Armao

A glass retractable ceiling in the principle bar’s lobby reveals off the resort’s authentic 1878 constructing, which sits behind a facade constructed within the 1920s.

Mr Maskiell stated the group retained the historic components of the resort, whereas replicating any that weren’t in order that it saved the identical old-world really feel.

“Something that was authentic we saved or restored and we’re actually displaying off and celebrating,” he stated.

To not be caught up to now, the resort contains a podcast studio open to the general public to e book and a model new kitchen and informal restaurant the place the automobile park as soon as stood.

The rejuvenated Espy Kitchen has a casual restaurant.

The rejuvenated Espy Kitchen has an off-the-cuff restaurant.Credit score:Joe Armao

But it surely’s whenever you make your manner up the principle bar’s grand stairs that the resort actually enters new territory.

The beforehand derelict ranges now embrace Cantonese restaurant Mya Tiger, headed by former Longrain head chef Sarah Chan, and three cocktail bars.


You’ll must get previous a concierge on the bottom flooring to attain a key that will get you to the extra unique of the cocktail bars.

Bar The Ghost of Alfred Felton, on the highest flooring, is impressed by a resident from the flip of the final century who’s credited with kick-starting Melbourne’s artwork scene when he bequeathed his fortune to the Nationwide Gallery.

It contains a 100-year-old bar and is adorned with artwork and antiques scoured from all over the world to make it appear like his previous rooms.

The central staircase leads to new territory at the Espy.

The central staircase results in new territory on the Espy.Credit score:Joe Armao

The resort’s former homeowners, nightclub operators Paul Adamo and Vince Sofo, handed on this message as they celebrated the sale: “As a lot as you’ve purchased the Esplanade Lodge, you’ll by no means personal it.”

“And never a more true phrase has ever been spoken,” Mr Maskiell stated on Monday.

“This venue has meant a lot to so many individuals, who’ve a real reference to it, I’m simply fortunate to be a part of it.”

The Espy reopens on Friday.

Chloe Booker is a reporter at The Age.

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