St Kilda’s iconic watering hole to reopen this December
The Prince Hotel’s royal revival continues, with its legendary watering hole Prince Public Bar set to be back in action this summer. The iconic local pub is calling first drinks in early December since temporarily closing in April this year to undergo a major overhaul by the Ryan Family.
Remodelled by IF Architecture’s Iva Foschia, a long-time collaborator of The Prince Hotel, the design pays homage to the bar’s Art Deco heritage and St Kilda’s colourful character, reimagined through a modern lens.
The entire ground floor will be opened up, with a long oval front bar reinstated to its original location, alongside an expanded kitchen and spacious dining areas. An internal staircase will be introduced, connecting the bar directly through to the Hotel Lobby and Prince Dining Room. Striving to eliminate segregation and promote inclusivity, the staircase acts as a metaphor for a venue known as a mecca for people from all walks of life for almost a century.
Dry aged Cape Grim rib eye, cooked on the bone,
with cos lettuce and chips
PPB Beef Burger
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the approachable menu by Executive Chef Dan Hawkins and Head Chef Dan Cooper will see locals and tourists alike graze over quality food and booze from morning to night – think seasonal pub fare without the frills. Counter meals will be a hit with the St Kilda natives, along with the Prince Signature Roast series, which offers a daily changing rotisserie.
Prince Public Bar is known as one of Melbourne’s longest standing LGBTQIA-friendly bars, having embraced Melbourne’s diverse community since its opening in 1937. The venue was famously home to Pokey’s Drag Show and Pennie’s Nightclub in the 1970s and will gladly welcome a new neighbour the St Kilda Pride Centre (to be opened on Fitzroy Street) in 2020.
The Prince Hotel more broadly has an eclectic musical history, renowned as the epicentre of Melbourne’s punk rock scene in the 1980s, while Prince Bandroom has played host to countless international acts, as well as the late-night ‘One Love’ dance parties throughout the noughties. And while the reopening will bring new life to the Melbourne icon, it hasn’t lost sight of its playful past.
Managing Director Andrew Ryan says the relaunch of the Prince Public Bar represents a vital moment in the rejuvenation of their corner locale, as well as the wider suburb.
“This is a really significant moment, not just for The Prince Hotel, but for the entire suburb of St Kilda, which has undergone its own transformation in recent years. The Prince Hotel has established itself as a proud mainstay of St Kilda’s landscape for generations, and the transformation invites a new wave of St Kilda locals to discover this iconic venue.
“We’re bringing back the quintessential St Kilda local, providing a place where people can return two, three times a week and bring their family or a first date. It’s a place where everyone is welcome, just as it always has been, and we’re excited to see how Melbourne responds to it,” added Ryan.
A brand-new offering for wine aficionados Little Prince Wine will be introduced in February 2020, marking the final stage of the royal revival. Specialising in boutique and premium wines, with a particularly strong offering of Burgundy, guests can purchase bottles to takeaway or taste them on-site – either in the wine bar or the intimate underground cellar. An in-store deli will supply a limited selection of delectable pre-prepared meals, perfect to grab and go.
As well as Prince Public Bar and Little Prince Wine, the venue hosts a wide array of offerings including the 39-room boutique hotel, restaurant Prince Dining Room, Aurora Spa and the popular Rain Room, which is located on the rooftop.
Prince Public Bar
Main pic: Dan Cooper (Head Chef), Dan Hawkins (Executive Chef) and Chris Andrews (Sous Chef)