The Hotel South Melbourne has lived many lives: it first opened as the Phoenix in 1854. It was converted into a rock venue called the Star Hotel in the 1970s, and was transformed into a nightclub in the 1990s.

These days it’s a slick venue under the stewardship of Tyson and Ashleigh Chambers, who also run Golden Hills Brewery. That means are plenty of taps from the Diamond Creek brewery, including a blood plum and feijoa sour and an Earl Grey IPA alongside more commonly found draught lagers and pale ales.

On the food front, the public bar caters for steak-and-parma traditionalists looking for pub classics, but in the dining room you’ll find a more refined menu comprising dishes designed to be shared. For snacks, there’s an extensive menu including its signature cacio e pepe croquettes, as well as steak tartare with horseradish and parmesan dressing. For the mains, try the fan-favourite slow-cooked lamb shoulder with a saltbush and romesco sauce. There are also pizzas (many of which are vegan and all of which can be made gluten-free) and desserts including burnt Basque cheesecake and chocolate mousse.

The modern fit-out spotlights whitewashed and exposed brick and original timber floors. The space also retains plenty of historic quirks, such as arches in the brick walls and parquetry.

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Updated: April 5th, 2024

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