Time Out Melbourne

The Rochester, Fitzroy's dive pub for the young and grungy, has risen from the ashes and Miss Katie's Crab Shack has joined it

After an extensive renno and a change in owners – Brigitte and Jon Costelloe (the Aviary, Dr Morse) are now in charge – the Rochester has been reborn. The back area of its huge interior has been turned into a dining room for Katie Marron's seafood-and-butter-based menu. Melburnians have been obsessed with Miss Katie's Crab Shack since it first opened up shop in North Melbourne's Public Bar a few years back, so the expansion of the business comes as no surprise.

The menu has grown, too: there are five different low country boil options, a raw bar and Katie's famous fried chicken. Up front, the Rochy is still very much a pub, now with craft beers such as Young Henrys and Sample Brew flowing from the taps alongside Cooper's. There's also a serious cocktail offering, including boozy iced teas. The new fitout – courtesy of designers Merinda Garrett and Swear Words – relies on sanded wood and exposed brick, plus a few striking features, including huge red neon crabs and DJ decks set up on an old TV. It's all very new and fresh here on Johnston Street, and we can't wait to come back for a proper look once the paint dries.

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The Rochester Castle Hotel details

202 Johnston St, Fitzroy 3065

Open Mon-Wed 3pm-1am; Thu noon-1am; Fri, Sat noon-3am; Sun noon-11pm

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