Some of Melbourne’s old iconic pubs may be in danger of disappearing to make way for apartment complexes as another went under the hammer last month.
Fitzroy’s Rose Hotel on Napier Street, which is regarded by locals as one of the last great pub venues for watching AFL, as well as old-fashioned no-frills pub food which includes a “Mixed Grill” on its menu, only just managed to stay open as a pub after being sold at auction for $2.65 million on April 27.
Live music venue the East Brunswick Club held its last music event in February, and plans were lodged with the Moreland Council last August. It’s believed the band room and bottle shop will be demolished to make way for a five-storey apartment complex, but local hopes remain high that the pub will stay intact.
Local expectations are that The Rose will be turned into an apartment complex, although outgoing owner Tony Dwyer said it will be sold as an ongoing concern and that he would like it to remain a pub.
”It’s a strong business – it’s not on its knees, which gives me hope it will stay the same,” he told The Age. ”If I come back in 12 months and it’s apartments my wife will kill me.”
In Britain, more than 52 pubs per week are closed according to figures compiled for the British Beer & Pub Association. The downturn is a result of the GFC, but the silver lining is many bought them to convert into homes. They have been so popular, councils such as Croydon in London has created special planning guidelines to convert them into homes.
Emerson Dutton, a UK estate agent from Bedfords in Bury St Edmunds told The Independent in August 2009: “ I could have sold 10 this year, even with the downturn. They’re popular because they’re in the heart of towns or villages with big plots making parking easy. The interiors are interesting and large, often with cellars, and the upstairs levels are large to house pub managers’ families.”
QUESTION: Are there any pubs in your area which have been converted to housing? Would you live in an old pub?