Development of inner city suburbs means that the classic Aussie pub — much like the endangered corner store or a Paddle Pop in the sun — is at risk of disappearing. Like many Melbourne pubs, The Corner Hotel has recently undergone a refurb — but, unlike many of the aforementioned pubs, has emerged all the better for it.
The respectful renovation and careful design of the rooftop bar will leave local fans happy and no doubt introduce a new generation of pub-goers to one of they city's best live music venues. Overlooking the Richmond Station train lines, The Corner's fresh new indoor-outdoor rooftop bar has an air-conditioned area for hot days, a large smoking area and an even bigger heated non-smokers deck for any weather. It also boasts a private bar and function space and the rooftop is also completely wheelchair accessible, a rarity in Melbourne. With all this new space to play with, it's worth getting a pint of one of the many craft beers on tap and taking a moment to explore.
To match the new space, The Corner's head chef Shannon Rice has put together a fresh menu of premium pub food with a new focus on shared dishes. This sees pub classics rub shoulders with modern dishes — for example, a parma with chips and salad ($24) sits alongside pan-fried barramundi with carrot velouté, crunchy broad beans, fennel and bisque oil ($32). Our pick is the whole roasted eggplant with lemon-toasted almonds, flatbread and sweet and savoury pomegranate molasses ($28) — we were thinking about it days after the fact.
Alternatively, there's a high chance you'll find yourself here looking for a pre-gig snack. If that's the case, the old-school three-cheese arancini ($15) and Gangnam fried chicken with spicy kimchi mayo ($15) should provide ample hits of cheese and crunch. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options on the menu too.
The Corner is one of those venues we don't want to change, but the new rooftop is a welcome refresh of a Richmond classic that has managed to hold onto its roots.