In Changing Times by Clyde Mooney

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After selling at auction late last year for $4.4 million, the iconic East Brunswick Hotel is back with a new look for another encore.

The pub is a three-storey corner structure on a compact 380sqm block that was operated for decades by CUB, and has long held a reputation for lots of live music, with a penchant for showcasing newcomers.

Part of the original building was sold to developers in 2012 to become residential apartments, and when the pub lease ended last year the passive freehold owner decided to list it as a vacant opportunity.

In late December it was purchased at auction by Scott Didier, who, taking possession a few months into 2018, immediately executed a major renovation before reopening the dormant pub Friday 21 August.

The new look boasts a ground floor public bar in ‘industrial’ theming, with booth seating, exposed metal beams and bricks, and a bar constructed from timber salvaged from Mornington Pier. The former cellar turned function room has become an intimate dining space, and upstairs there is a high-end cocktail lounge with marble bar, chandeliers and the balcony looking out over Lygon Street.

The new kitchen serves up “unpretentious yet modern” pub grub, featuring the likes of ale-steamed mussels, and the ‘one-pound meatball’ already looking to become the signature dish.

And heralding a return to its roots, there is also a live music stage, and plans to host bands Thursday through to Sunday nights.

In the upper levels, the 12 boutique hotel rooms better reflect the changing demographic of the precinct.

Didier himself grew up in Brunswick, just six kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD, and has ambition for the Hotel, also purchasing the retail space next door in the hope of re-expanding its footprint.

PubTIC was unable to make contact prior to publication.