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As Lockdown 3.0 comes to a close (thank God, I wasn’t sure how it’d go today, to be honest) many businesses, cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs and the like are looking forward to reopening tomorrow. We know that after the Big Lockdown fancy-ass bars in Melbourne city popped midnight champagne, but this time I want to celebrate the unsung heroes. Like Bundoora Hotel, which is wasting ZERO time and opening at the stroke of midnight tonight.

Truly nothing like the energy of a suburbia hotel (read: divey pub/sports bar situation with a metric fuck-tonne of brickies’ laptops) proudly announcing it’ll be swinging the doors open for punters the second the Melbourne lockdown lifts.

With a 4.02 star rating on its own website and Google reviews like “Good meals at reasonable prices” and “Enjoyed Zagames in Reservoir much more”, the Bundoora Hotel is primed and ready to knock the froth off a couple of pints for ya once again.

When the front door looks like this, you know the pours are strong, the beer smell is embedded into the carpet, there’s Keno on every second screen, and the whole place is soundtracked by the faint ringing of the pokies.

From midnight tonight, my northern suburbs mates who are absolutely stinging for a shandy and to idly watch the re-runs of the 1993 AFL grand final, the humble Bundoora Hotel will kick the late-night bistro back up again for pub snacks. I dunno about you, but their ~famous~ cheese and bacon bread is softly calling my name.

It’s one of those places where you can identify just about everyone in the club as soon as your walk into the harsh lighting – the two old codgers with red noses from years of boozing who are buying two pots of light shandy and the bartender in a polo shirt (or darted pinstripe button-up with 3/4 sleeves) with the bleach blonde hair pulled back in a messy 00s-era bun.

There are the old ducks intently watching the Keno screens in the off chance their lucky numbers come up, the kids brutalising the chocolate machine over near the table where they call the weekly meat raffle. They’re all there, they’ve never left.

The lineup at the bar is the four trusted faves, which you don’t think have really changed since they put Furphy on the taps back in 2014.

So lock it in with the group chat, the cheap midnight pints are on tonight, and the sports bar down the side is switching all the TVs back on after a long few days off.

Image: Facebook / @BundooraHotel