When The Gasometer became insolvent and suddenly closed in 2013, it seemed like another blow against live music in Melbourne. The bluestone pub was a crucial pillar of the scene, hosting gigs seven nights a week.
Thankfully Shannon Vanderwert (of The Post Office Hotel in Coburg) and Clint Fisher (the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick) stepped in. They knocked down a wall to open up the band room and put down new carpet. Better yet, they installed a pounding Nexo PA system and sound desk.
The Gaso re-opened in 2014 and continues to play a pivotal role in supporting music (and the occasional stand-up act) all week long. Its 350-patron band room is one-of-a-kind, with a retractable roof allowing it to host open-air gigs. There’s also a mezzanine level, which offers a great vantage of the stage.
These days the pub boasts its very own izakaya, known as Gas-Light. This unusual dining space was formed in partnership with Adam Liston and Eamon Bellew from Northern Light and is focused on yakitori (skewered food) and the more traditional katsu (crumbed food).
The simple menu is centred around dishes grilled over binchotan, a white Japanese charcoal that’s smoke- and odour-free. These eats can be paired with Collingwood Pale Ale and imported Orion Draft, or even enjoyed in the private dining room upstairs.