The John Curtin Hotel – on the city end of Lygon Street – is set to close.
The team behind the longstanding pub and live-music venue took to Instagram this afternoon to share the shattering news.
“The rumours are true,” the post reads. “It’s with an agonisingly sad heart that The John Curtin Hotel’s time on this earth will come to an end. The owners of the almost 150-year-old building have decided to sell, making way, most likely, for apartments.”
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“We … have a lease until the end of [November] this year,” the post goes on. “Beyond that, we have no idea what the developers will have planned for us.”
Named after Australian politician John Curtin, who served as prime minister in the 1940s, The Curtin is a pub’s pub: casual, inexpensive and unashamedly dive-y in the best possible way. It also became worth a visit just to eat at Sonny’s Fried Chicken and Burgers, the in-house American-style diner; the fried chicken is some of the best in town – and so are the stacked cheeseburgers.
It’s also – importantly – a mainstay of Melbourne’s live-music scene, with gig posters dating back decades lining the walls. So, its closure will be a massive blow for the city’s music community.
The Curtin’s upstairs bandroom is one of few in Melbourne that can just as easily accommodate a local up-and-comer’s Tuesday-night gig as it can an established band’s album launch and even an international festival sideshow.
So, the team – full of fierce supporters of live music in Melbourne – is appealing to local talent to reach out if they want to take to the stage while they still can. “If you have never played but would like to, if you sold out the room and would like to do it again, if you want to claim your piece of history – bands, NOW IS YOUR TIME.”
“We will have a lot more to say on the matter down the line, but I assure you, we will go out with a BANG!”
The John Curtin Hotel’s lease is up at the end of November.