Bars & Pubs

Spend Your Summer At Richmond’s Reimagined Public House

By Rick Stephens
10th Dec 2020

A fancy rooftop bar overlooking the Melbourne skyline at night.

After a hiatus and a refurb, Richmond institution, Public House, is returning with far more than a fresh lick of paint. The iconic Church Street haunt is swinging the doors open with a complete reimagination of the four(ish) floors thanks to a $3 million upgrade.

The design comes from renowned architect Greig Carter, who’s kept capacity in mind—and what that looks like in today’s world—by championing outdoor areas, lofty dancefloors and introducing a two-tiered rooftop. What translates is a mammoth 320 capacity across the venue under current restrictions, and a total of 450 once they’re eased.

As one can immediately see, the rooftop is a sort-of crown jewel for the new-look public house. It’s split over two floors, and like much of the venue, it references a French-riviera aesthetic. One half is more of a deck, the other a garden, though both feature sweeping views of Richmond, the MCG and of course the Melbourne skyline.

In the middle of the venue is the public lounge; think velvet booths and art-deco sensibilities smattered through the space. Anyone familiar with Public House will also recall the terrace, that opens up from the lounge, and those will be pleased to know it’s still a main fixture, though it has been given some love to create a space that’s semi-covered, heated and primed for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather.

The ground floor hasn’t been forgotten about, either. The open-til-late wooden-clad space features a sizable new dancefloor and a bar that’s stacked with local beer and wine. 

The renovations are best considered a complete overhaul of Public House, though Melburnians weren’t originally supposed to be treated to what is essentially a new venue for Richmond’s nightlife.

“What initially began as a four month upgrade at Public House, has ended up an 18 month complete site renovation. After revealing some old bluestone and original brickwork, we decided to strip it right back to the bones. We’re pleased to be finally opening the doors this week, after many lengthy and challenging delays due to COVID. We’re looking forward to showcasing to Melburnians and our loyal Richmond community, the unique and unrivalled view from Public House’s new rooftop, inspired by our travels,” said Jon De Fraga, Publican.

The new-look Public House is open now. Might be time to revisit your new local.

Don’t stop there, check out more of Melbourne’s best rooftop bars here.

Image credit: supplied

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