Melbourne’s iconic Hotel Esplanade (fondly known as The Espy) left us all lost when they closed their doors for an 18 month refurbished, but as of today, we all have somewhere to go again for live music, cool cocktails, beachside vibes and great snacks.
Located in St Kilda, Hotel Esplanade’s epic refurbishment by hospitality group Sand Hill Road has brought a new lease of life to this legendary hotspot.
What was once all sticky floors and peeling wallpaper is now a grand music, dining and drinking destination complete with curbside beer garden, Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar, three stages, a garden terrace and so much more.
Spearheaded by Executive Chef Ash Hicks, the Hotel Esplanade features two main dining venue. The first is The Espy Kitchen at the heart of the property. Once the hotel’s loading bay, The Espy Kitchen has been transformed into a spectacular kitchen stage, with the workings of Hicks’ 60-strong chef brigade as the main cast and crew.
Diners can expect wood-fired pizzas made using 72-hour fermented pizza dough with South Australian stoneground flour, slow-roasted meats and seafood from the custom-built charcoal rotisserie and grill, and fun snacks like the Espy crispy bug roll, spiced lamb with flatbread and yoghurt dressing, and beef tartare and potato crisps.
Guests can also kick off their weekend early with a brunch menu served from 9am and serving up dishes like an open crab omelette with spring onion and tomato, green nourish bowl with scrambled tofu and avocado, and BBQ mushroom and halloumi rolls serviced alongside a selection of fresh and punchy cocktails sure to get the day going.
There’s also, Mya Tiger, the venue’s classic Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar, which will open in early December.
That brings us to the drinks. Kevin Peters, Sand Hill Road Group Bars Manager, and Matt Skinner, Group Sommelier, have developed a comprehensive drinks programme for the venue. Cocktails were created with a coastal sensibility to befit the seaside setting, like the Sun Sparkle Sour (vanilla Absolut, passionfruit, lemon, egg white and sparkling wine) and 500 Days of Summer (Four Pillars Sticky Carpet Gin, Fiorente elderflower, lime, strawberry, mint, ginger beer).
“Local craft beers, such as the stunningly successful Balter XPA, will sit alongside unpasteurised Carlton Draught delivered direct from the bright tank in Abbottsford. Beers and ciders have been sourced both locally and globally to provide for the full range of palates The Espy lives to serve,” says Peters.
Wine lovers can select from an extensive list and signature drinks will include the Espy Negroni that is made in American oak wood barrels, before being treated with Tawny Port for two months, aged for four weeks and bottled on site.
With three stages, live music lovers will be in their element. The stages will welcome an eclectic mix of touring soloists, two and three-piece bands, along with late-night DJs.
“The Espy is an iconic venue for Australia’s musical landscape. The stories that this venue could tell from the legendary performances alone are enough, everyone from Beasts of Bourbon to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard! Now is the chance to welcome back those acts that hold amazing history with the venue but also find the next crop of artists that will come to dominate the touring circuit,” says Venue Program Manager, Shaun Adams.
So, who’s up for a drink this weekend?
Monday – Friday: 11am – late
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – late
11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
03 9534 0211
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