Prince Public Bar
The legendary venue is still one of the best spots in town to watch the world go by.
St Kilda, quite simply, wouldn't be St Kilda without The Prince. Set on the corner of Fitzroy and Acland Streets, the venue previously known as The Prince of Wales Hotel has been a mainstay of the suburb since the mid-1800s. Rebuilt in 1936 into the instantly recognisable art deco structure that stands today, its history in many ways mirrors that of its surrounding streets.
Following an extensive makeover in 2019, the multi-venue site is perhaps best known for its street-level bar, Prince Public Bar. The sprawling space has been reimagined at the hands of IF Architecture's Iva Foschia, while still respecting the building's art deco roots. Expect a series of light-filled, spacious zones, with a hefty oval bar taking pride of place at the heart and a staircase offering access to the hotel lobby and Prince Dining Room above.
While it's best known as a spot for sinking beers, a kitchen expansion means Prince Public Bar now has those appetites sorted as well, serving breakfast through dinner daily. Roll in from 7am to fuel up with the likes of chilli and cheese scrambled eggs, mushroom shakshuka, or perhaps the honeycomb and vanilla hotcakes teamed with vanilla mascarpone and lemon balm. A range of Niccolo coffee, superfood smoothies and fresh juices paints a very different picture to the late-night visits of old.
Elsewhere, the kitchen's slinging a hefty offering of bar snacks — think, sweet and sour fried cauliflower, or homemade sausage rolls — and classic counter meals including the likes of chicken schnitzel and wagyu sausages on polenta.
Of course, the booze situation hasn't taken a backseat — you'll find a diverse spread of brews on tap, classic cocktails like negronis and old fashioneds, and a largely Aussie wine list featuring plenty of options by the glass. Happy hour runs from 5–7pm weeknights, delivering $8 schooners, basics and glasses of wine.
Top images: Kristoffer Paulsen