Time Out Melbourne

Best for gigs of all shapes and sizes

There’s never been a better time to visit this proud chunk of beery, musical real estate on St Kilda’s foreshore. The Espy is currently up for sale. What is to become of the pub, restaurant, bottle-o and the city’s longest running live music venues is uncertain – possibly nothing will change. But best rock along for a night of spilling Carlton Draught all over yourself at a gig just in case. Everyone from Boom Crash Opera to Johnny Farnham has graced the stage of the ornate Gershwin Room (which is also the set of TV gameshow RocKwiz, incidentally) while those still gunning for their big break play in the smaller basement bar downstairs. A middle room bridges the gap between the unknowns and the well-known. It’s sticky, loud and boasts the most bounce-happy bouncers in the land. But it’s not all about swaying to The Hell Hounds. Thursday’s $12.50 burger night sees the student and backpacker crowd cram into the bistro area for buns amped up with habanero hot sauce. You can get $20 jugs of sangria on Mexican Wednesdays, while on Saturday mornings, you might find us applying a Bloody Mary and bacon bandaid to our hangover while overlooking the beach. With trivia, and an uninterrupted flow of gigs, many of them free, there’s not a night of the week when the taps aren’t taking a pounding. Let’s pray that doesn’t change.

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Updated on 4 May 2015.

The Esplanade Hotel details

11 The Esplanade, St Kilda 3182

Telephone 03 9209 6634

Open Mon-Wed, Sun noon-1am; Thu, Fri noon-3am; Sat 8am-3am.

The Esplanade Hotel website

The Esplanade Hotel map

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