Beloved Brunswick live music venue the Brunswick Hotel has been forced to close following a major flood overnight.
A Victoria Police Brunswick spokesperson confirmed a young male driver allegedly struck the curb before colliding with a fire hydrant on the Weston Street side of the venue at about 12.45am on Thursday morning.
Band booker Frankie Cudmore arrived at about 1am to find the fire hydrant shooting water up onto the pub’s roof.
“I got called in at about one in the morning … I rushed down and saw this bloody fire hydrant pissing water on top of the venue and this Mercedes-Benz parked on the footpath. By the time I got inside the whole venue had flooded,” Cudmore tells Broadsheet.
“Those old style pubs don’t have any drainage on the façade so everything rolls down the back. So the water has pooled making part of the ceiling collapse which has then followed through to the downstairs and made part of the roof collapse in there as well,” he says.
While the flood has affected the entire venue, the main section hit includes the stage area that housed the PA system. Cudmore estimates there is $20,000 to $50,000 worth of damage to the sound equipment alone.
“It’s been nine years of us putting thousands and thousands of dollars [into it]… It’s pretty shit, but what are you going to do,” he says.
Owner Richard Kruk is committed to reopening the venue, but it’s unknown how long repairs will take.
“It’s a tough situation but we’re taking it one step at a time,” says Cudmore. “We were sitting there last night at five in the morning thinking ‘what the hell are we going to do?’ but we have no idea what we’re dealing with yet.”
The hotel’s many casual employees, including sound engineers, 10 to 20 bar staff and security have been left in the lurch.
The venue has put out a call on their Facebook page to help find work for the employees whose jobs have been affected.
“We have to make sure they’re looked after because they have to pay rent and bills and live their lives,” says Cudmore.
Help our Family. As we are shut for the foreseeable future, our lovely staff will be needing some work. If you have...Posted by The Brunswick Hotel on Wednesday, March 21, 2018