Update 4/10/16: After a few delays, the downstairs of The Rose Hotel is set to reopen on Thursday April 14, followed by the upstairs wine bar the following week. Original story below.
Fans of Fitzroy's venerable old pub The Rose may want to get their fill of the place before December 21, when it will shut for a few months to undergo extension renovations.
The Rose — famous for their bangin' street parties and being a top-notch place to watch the footy — has been bought by Tim Hogan and John Tennent, who also own Port Melbourne's greatest wine bar, Harry and Frankie. The pair have big plans for The Rose, but Fitzroy locals need not fear the destruction of their natural watering hole as the reno will stay mostly true to the essence of the original pub. Speaking to Good Food, they reassured locals that they intend to give the venue a facelift "without turning it into a yuppie bar or gastropub". Finally, someone's addressing what we're all thinking: let's keep Fitzroy un-fancy.
They'll close 'er down on Monday, December 21 and plan to have her back up and running sometime in February. The front bar will retain the classic TV setup for watching a game and enjoying that classic Aussie pastime: a pot and a parma. The back room will be transformed into a family-friendly dining space.
However, upstairs will see the most change. It's slated to become a Fitzroy version of the popular wine bar, complete with a separate entrance. The focus will be on wine with a light charcuterie and tapas menu to accompany the drops, and a walk-in wine cellar for diners to pluck their wine of choice fresh from the shelves. The upper renovations are expected to take a little longer and will hopefully be operational by Easter. In the meantime, get down to The Rose to give the old girl a proper bon voyage. We sure will miss her over the summer — but no doubt she's gonna come back, better (and more boozy) than ever.