Sitting pretty on that northern stretch of Lygon Street, the East Brunswick Hotel has seen a whole swag of incarnations in its 130 years, though locals of a certain age will remember it most vividly as legendary live music haunt, the East Brunswick Club.
Now, after 18 months of vacancy — and six years after the famed band room hosted its last gig — the historic pub has moved into its next phase of life, with new owners and an extensive makeover.
Making its official return in August, 2018, the refreshed East Brunswick Hotel unfolds over three sprawling levels. First up, there's the industrial-style front bar, on the ground floor, complete with soaring ceilings, a central bar made from reclaimed timber and a stage that pays homage to the space's history. A solid live music program will see it hosting gigs from Thursday through Sunday.
An impressive tap list leans local, pouring craft drops like Brewmanity Beer Co's Social Beast pale ale, the Bunker porter from Stomping Ground and a Brick Lane lager. To match, the kitchen is dishing up modern riffs on all the pub favourites — head in for creations like ale-steamed mussels, mac 'n' cheese croquettes, falafel sliders and a hearty smoked beef rib with polenta grits. You'll need to bring a little extra appetite if you want to tackle the 'World Famous One Pound Meatball', too.
Upstairs, industrial gives way to luxury, with a sophisticated cocktail bar decked out with chandeliers, marble and plush lounges. Twelve boutique hotel rooms complete the upper level, while all the way downstairs lies an underground cellar, functioning as a cosy private dining space.
The owners have snapped up the site next door, too, with plans to expand the pub's already grand offering.
Images: Brook James