Legendary Melb Watering Hole The Curtin May Be Able To Keep Operating As A Pub & Cheers To That

It looks like Melbourne’s Curtin Hotel will potentially continue its stint as a beloved pub and music venue ‘cos its new owner has confirmed the building is set to be leased.

The Age was able to snag some handy details about the pub’s future.

The new owner is a Singapore-based investor called YY Property and apparently, it’s looking to secure a long-term lease for The Curtin. Yay!

To give you a refresh: earlier this year the iconic watering hole was sold. The current management said they’d have the lease until this November but after that, the pub’s future was uncertain.  At the time, it was widely assumed the pub would be redeveloped and potentially turned into apartments.

It was then put under a pretty rare “green ban” by a group of building and construction industry unions in an attempt to save it from any potential redevelopment.

YY Property has now said it plans to hold The Curtin “as an investment”.

“We have appointed CBRE as our leasing agent to secure a long-term lease for the building,” it said.

The Age reported it understood the pub’s current manager Ben ‘Rusty’ Russell and CBRE were in negotiation, but neither could confirm any details — so we’ll have to wait for confirmation of how the pub’s future will shake out.

Indeed, the fight to save the iconic pub — particularly the green ban — has been bloody impressive.

Secretary for Victorian Trades Hall Luke Hilkari previously told The Age the pub is “not a building you should touch”. He said the unions would work hard to protect the pub and its long-standing legacy as a Labor Party watering hole and live music venue.

“If someone was trying to come in there with a bulldozer, it would be all of us and half of Melbourne standing in front of that bulldozer,” he said.

He’s now described the update on The Curtin’s future as “amazing news”.

The Building Industry Group’s green ban meant any tradies that were also union members were advised to not work on the iconic Carlton pub.

The unions — which include the CMFEU, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union — unanimously agreed to impose the ban in an April vote.

It’s not the first time a green ban has been whipped out to protect a Melbourne institution like The Curtin.

A similar blocking of construction industry union members was created and used in the 70s to save the City Baths, Flinders Street Station, Queen Victoria Market and the Regent Theatre from redevelopment plans.

Adam Portelli — the Regional Director for the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance in Victoria and Tasmania — said in a statement in April that The Curtin had a deep and long connection with the city’s arts scene and “must be protected and preserved” as part of the Melbourne’s fabric.

The future of The Curtin Hotel is certainly looking much less uncertain now, and that news definitely deserves a hearty cheers.