Time Out Melbourne

After 20 years lying dormant, the Savoy Tavern is re-open for boozeness

Until two decades worth of band posters were scraped off this corner of Bourke and Spencer Street we had clean forgotten that a pub lay beneath. Now, the Savoy Tavern stands open and party-light-filled once more. It’s massive, sporting a front bar that could take a queue of punters 20 deep, with a second bar in a room beyond and a courtyard beyond that.

The new look reminds us a bit of Canberra's city centre – sharp lines, retro '70s red brick walls (the original bones, faithfully preserved along with the big island bar) and lots of parliamentary greens, greys and pale wooden tables. On Fridays, it's all hustle. At off-peak times, that's some serious square footage to make feel fun. They're doing that with extra-drinkular entertainment in the form of footy matches, screened above the bar, Thursday night musical bingo and Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, which trills over the speakers. 

They've fancied up the lines since their days of pouring pure Carlton Draught, though it's a fairly broad bank of internationals like Guinness and Kirin with a small hat tip to craft beer in the form of Little Creatures. They serve cocktails too, if you just can't jump the 6pm to Bacchus Marsh without a Long Island Iced Tea.

It's worth dropping by for a nosebag. Their burger holds a thick pink beef patty embalmed in cheddar with American mustard, scant salad and well-dilled pickles. It’s good – as are the thin and salty fries that come with it. There’s no parma. Instead you’ll find a zesty, nutty quinoa, freekeh and farro salad topped with a goat's curd and mint. We unite the forces of good and evil and team ours with a $9 mini-rolls and chips from the rugrats menu. Thrifty victory!

There’s definite appeal in seeing how the old girl scrubbed up, but this is probably more a situational boozer than a destination pub. If you're Etihad-bound it's an absolute saviour, and for V-Liners looking for love on the run, it's a boon.

Updated on 30 Apr 2015.

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

The Savoy Tavern details

677 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9629 4214

Nearby Stations: Southern Cross

Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-late; Sat & Sun noon-late

The Savoy Tavern website

The Savoy Tavern map

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