Brunswick Ballroom is a rollicking live-performance venue set in a historic building on Sydney Road. The space it inhabits has had a long, colourful history. It’s been a hat factory, a French restaurant, a nightclub, and live-music venue The Spotted Mallard. But co-owners Will Ewing and Andrew Kay wanted to create a welcoming venue that invited all kinds of live performance.

The duo have been careful not to pigeonhole the programming here. That means you’ll find an eclectic mix of shows that run the gauntlet from music to cabaret to comedy and beyond. Most performances have a dinner-and-a-show option. You might expect a classic chicken schnitzel, steak au poivre (pepper steak), or a loaded fried chicken burger. And on the snackier side: pea and manchego croquettes; Southern fried cauliflower bites; lemon-pepper calamari; and thick-cut fries with French-onion salt.

Every meal feels a little dramatic against the backdrop of the ballroom. In the first-storey space, striking skylight domes with stained-glass designs take pride of place. The 290-seat room also has plush red-velvet curtains, black textured wallpaper and a glistening centrepiece grand piano. Plus, there’s an inclinator on the staircase to maximise accessibility.

Head back downstairs and you’ll find the Brunswick Artists’ Bar, a drinking den with big country-pub vibes. It too has a focus on live performance, but the roster – which has included stand-up comedy, exhibitions, and sets from local DJs and musos – is more low-key.

Contact Details

Updated: January 31st, 2024

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.