Sit down young people, and we’ll tell you the tale of Murphys, Geelong’s historic Irish bar.
It all began in Geelong’s post-Gold Rush Days. Back then this place was The Argyle Hotel—the very spot where Geelong Football Club was born. Enough Guinness has been sunk here to keep the whole of Dublin happily pizzled for 50 years.
For ages the building was known as Irish Murphys....then a brief (and unsuccessful) stint as ‘Gin & Co’. Four mates bought it back in 2016 and scrapped the gin angle—Murphys was officially back. They’ve spent a million bucks and the best part of two years restoring the old girl, and the final stage is officially complete. Murphys now has a rooftop bar—get the hell excited, G-Town.
The new-look pub has a Dublin-meets-Fitzroy sort of vibe. You’ve still got Guinness on tap (obvs) and the lads kept many of the old Murphys memorabilia and fittings. But upstairs is looking very different—there’s a pizza kitchen up there now, and a rooftop bar, craft beers, banging cocktails and some of the best views in Geelong.
Co-owner Shaun Aspinall said the history of the venue played a big part in their decision.
“After a short period of operating Irish Murphys, we realized the potential of the venue and got to work on designing the best customer experience we could while bringing something unique to Geelong – a great local pub with a vibrant rooftop bar,” he said.
The lads went to over 50 venues in Melbourne and overseas, taking a bunch of notes, and chatting with locals about what makes their pub special.
Whatever they did, it worked. The new rooftop space is gorgeous. You get views of Corio Bay, the You Yangs and even Melbourne CBD (on a clear day). The best seats are the ones hugging the central bar (minimises Guinness delivery time).
Downstairs you’ve got the traditional pub-style menu. Big f*ck off Paddy’s Burgers with beef, bacon and pickles, an entire section dedicated to ‘Parmis’ (never ‘Parmas’ in Geelong) and gravy-topped roast of the day. Up top, it’s pizza time. Naples-born chef Enzo is handling the pizza oven—think blackened, bubble-crusted Napoli-style pizzas, topped with local Bellarine goodness.
The front bar downstairs is still rocking live music on weekends and trivia on Tuesdays, not to mention Geelong footy games on the big screen (it’s hard to avoid them in this town). You can check their Facebook page for what’s coming up this week.
It’s boom time for Geelong. We’ve already had Recess open up this year, and now Murphys kicks things up a notch. There’s something in the water down here...to be sure to be sure.
Image credit: Murphys