St Kilda Institution The Espy Could Be Reopening Soon
It's reportedly been sold to the owners of the Garden State and Prahran Hotel.
St Kilda's Esplanade Hotel looks like it will finally reopen its doors some two years after the iconic live music venue was shuttered. According to The Age, the 139-year-old venue has been purchased by venue managers Sand Hill Road, who intend to restore the fading landmark to its former glory.
"The deal is expected to be finalised this week," reported The Age on Tuesday afternoon. Quoting a "hospitality source", the paper said that The Espy's new owners want to restore the venue's status as one of Melbourne's preeminent live music spot. Apparently they're also planning "a major overhaul" of the space which might include a large beer garden near the entrance. Plans by earlier owners to add a rooftop terrace to the venue were stymied after locals expressed concerns about the noise.
The Espy has been closed since May 2015. If Sand Hill Road has indeed bought the venue, we could see it undergo a big facelift — the hospitality group has bought and refurbished a number of prominent Melbourne pubs including the Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford, the Bridge Hotel in Richmond and the newest of the bunch, the Garden State Hotel on Flinders Lane. When contacted, co-founder Andy Mullins declined to make any comment at this stage. We'll update this story with more details as it develops.