Originally published on Broadsheet Melbourne.
The reincarnation of Fitzroy Street’s famous George Hotel is complete.
On the corner of Fitzroy and Grey Streets sits The George Hotel. Established in 1857, it’s an important part of St Kilda’s history.
With the neighbourhood’s nightlife currently in flux (with the closure of the Espy, and Stokehouse yet to be rebuilt), curious eyes have been fixed on The George’s renovations.
“It was through talks with heritage [consultants] that it evolved into being a hunter lodge–style bar,” says owner Liam Ganley, who fitted out the 150-seat space with dark timbers, a feature wall of beer cans and antler chandeliers.
There’s a mix of seating options including large communal tables if you’re with a big group, square four-seaters if you’re looking for something more intimate, and bar tables and stools if you’re only in for a drink. There’s plenty of standing room, too.
Beer is the main offering. The name, Freddie Wimpoles, pays homage to a Frederick Wimpole who purchased The George in 1873, became mayor of St Kilda in 1886 and director of the Melbourne Co-operative Brewing Company (now Carlton & United Breweries) in the late 1800s.
Twelve beers, both local and international, rotate through the taps. Currently, Brooklyn Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are poured alongside the Stone & Wood Garden Ale, 2 Brothers American Brown Ale and a limited-edition Lamington Ale by Quiet Deeds. An extensive range of canned and bottled brews is also available.
If you don’t fancy beer, there are 180 spirits to choose from.
An American deli–style menu of subs, sandwiches and hot dogs complement the drink offerings. There’s a classic Reuben and the Traditional French Dip (a roast-beef and horseradish sandwich with beef juice for dipping). A vegetarian sub with roasted eggplant, Swiss mushroom and vintage cheddar is also available. All come with a side of pickles and potato chips. A meat board with cheese, olives, pickles and bread is available as a lighter option.
125 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Sun to Wed 12pm–1am
Thu to Sat 12pm–3am
Photo credit: Daniel Aulsebrook