The Reverence Hotel
When the Arthouse in North Melbourne closed in 2011, it ended a 20-year chapter in Melbourne’s live music history. At the time, managers Melanie and Matt Bodiam chose to take a break from hospitality.
It took about a year for them to miss the company of Melbourne’s musos and change their minds. Taking over the Exchange Hotel in Footscray, they created the Reverence Hotel.
The pub is as welcoming as it is low-key. Gear-laden musicians trek through the semicircle front bar; passing tradies enjoy a knockoff; families tuck into meals; and locals shoot pool or play foosball in the beer garden.
The venue is a destination for punk, metal and indie fans. The two band rooms feature local and international acts, and regular free gigs.
The vegan offerings are legendary. There’s a crowd-pleasing range of tacos; Mexican-influenced mains; pizzas and burgers; and vegan-chocolate nachos for dessert. There’s just as much choice for meat-eaters, meaning everyone can enjoy a Taco Tuesday special.
At the bar taps pour the very local Two Birds, as well as Coopers and Stone & Wood. The 30-strong tequila list spans both the popular and hard to find.