Melbourne’s rapidly expanding 100 Burgers Group (Welcome to Thornbury, Mr Burger, Belles Hot Chicken) has taken over the historic Prince Alfred Hotel on Grattan Street. Located next to the University of Melbourne, the much-loved pub has been a student watering hole for decades.

“It’s a pretty iconic pub, I didn’t personally go to Melbourne Uni but a lot of my friends lived there and that was their drinking spot during uni years. I think any time you’ve got the opportunity to take over a classic pub it’s something you look at doing,” 100 Burgers co-founder Daragh Kan tells Broadsheet.

Plans are to keep it a student-friendly vibe with plenty of specials. They’ll even be running “Toss the Boss” nights when punters can flip coins for drink specials. Bottomless pancakes and mimosas are planned for Sundays.

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“Wednesday night will be the big one for students as it’s traditionally been. We’ll be doing trivia on Thursday night. DJs and live music on Friday,” says Kan.

The main kitchen will send out pub classics and a few more upmarket additions such as freshly shucked oysters. A second kitchen will have rotating takeovers form other 100 Burgers businesses like Mr Burger, as well as soon-to-be announced guest chefs.

While the original exterior will remain, architects Hot Black have drastic changes planned for the interior, which has been gutted to change the layout. The major change is the introduction of a rooftop bar.

“It’s quite an old building, it was built almost a hundred years ago, but the interior we wanted to make look completely different. We wanted to reference the history of the area but also really wanted to make it a bit of a wonderland, make it completely different to what people would expect to find in a pub. Mix it up with botanical elements, cabinets of curiosity, taking all these different influences and mashing it together.

Press materials provided by the group have suggested the interior will reference Carlton’s Italian history as well that of the nearby medical college, although Kan is unwilling to go into specifics.

“When you see the venue you’ll see it’s pretty out there.”

The Prince Alfred Hotel is set to reopen at the end of February.

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