Bars and Nightclubs
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne

John Curtin Hotel

29 Lygon St, Melbourne, VIC
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A venue tailor made for live music enthusiasts, the John Curtin Hotel is a welcome addition to the saturated Melbourne live music scene. The 300 capacity bandroom has been designed to ensure an unrestricted view of the large stage from anywhere in the room. Complemented by a HK Audio PA system specifically in stalled to deliver the highest quality sound on stage and to the entire audience. Located at the city end of Lygon St Carlton, a short walk from Melbourne Central Station, The Curtin Bandroom is easily accessible by public transport. Rear access enables convenient load in/out with secure over night gear storage and private dressing room available. Licensed until 3am Monday – Saturday, The Curtin is surrounded by couches and is the ideal location to host private showcases/functions and after show parties.

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John Curtin Hotel Review

By James Vellar

The John Curtin is a place of mismatched floorboards and seating that resembles old train seats. There is a charm among its decor, old-world and genuine, and a sincerity that makes it a relic of the Melbourne bar scene – there are no pokies, no blaring television and no dress code.

Located on the city end of Lygon St, the John Curtin Hotel has become a favourite watering hole for uni students and trade unionists alike. Walking into the bar entrance, you will find the decor akin to a 70s garage with old velour couches and cup-stained coffee tables forming a communal area. There are benches and stools scattered throughout and a couple of booths at the back for larger groups. The seats are worn but still comfortable and are always plentiful as to assure that you will find at least one, even during the usually busy 6-8pm.

In the time it takes you to down a $4 pot you are likely to hear anything from Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones to The Stooges. The music is constant but low enough so that you can still hear the barman ask you what you do with yourself and what side of town you’re from. Barring this, pun intended, you are likely to find yourself in the company of uni students from nearby RMIT and the reliable walk-ins from the Trades Hall across the road.

Enter through the large, oak-tinged double doors and you will find the dining room, a compact arrangement of booths and tables, dimly lit with a full view into the kitchen. Serving your traditional pub food with a few vegetarian options all under $15, the John Curtin has become a popular haunt for those looking to eat a decent meal on the cheap. The dining room is always popular and closes at 9.30 on a week night, so get in early or risk having to eat in the crowded bar. There is a good selection of imported and boutique beers on offer and basic spirits will set you back $7.

Venture upstairs and you will find the newly refurbished band room, boasting its very own bar, stage, modern sound and lighting equipment and enough room to fit 300. Playing host to regular stream of local gigs, album launches and comedy nights, the room has been graced by the likes of The Galvatrons and Temper Trap. Check out their website for upcoming shows.

A 5 minute walk from Melbourne Central, The John Curtin is great for pre-drinks before heading into the CBD or a great place to catch up with friends, have a cheap meal and a few pots before heading upstairs to check out an offering from a plethora of up-and-coming bands and musicians.

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