I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published May 28th 2013
110 Years on St Kilda Pier Kiosk is a Melbourne Institution
Initially known as 'Parers Pavilion' the St Kilda Pier Kiosk was built in 1904 based on a design by James Charles Morell and operated by Francis Parer. Officially it was known by the much grander name The Austral Refreshment Rooms.
St Kilda Piers iconic tea rooms overlook the marina.
Purchased by the Kerby family in 1938 it was renamed Kerby's Kiosk and remained in the family hands until 1987. The first European style pier mounted pavilion in Australia Kerby's was a bayside institution.
Owner Colin Kerby created a storm in 1951 when he sold over-proof homemade beer over the kiosk counter. At 7.4% alcohol compared with the approved 2% Mr. Kerby's venture into the liquor trade ruffled a few official feathers.
The original Heritage Listed building was destroyed by fire on September 11th 2003 and Melbourne grieved for a place where generations of locals had celebrated family gatherings and a walk along the pier on a summer's evening to buy an ice-cream at the kiosk was the most Melbournian of things to do.
Fortunately then Premier Steve Bracks was quick to undertake a rebuild of the historic structure under strict Heritage Victoria guidelines.
The tearoom are one of only a handful of Euorpean style pier mounted pavillions in Australia.
Today St Kilda Pier Kiosk offers affordable café style drinks, snacks and light meals in a family-friendly, historic setting.
The unique seaside location overlooking the boat harbour offers great views to seaward or the nearby city skyline. With its briny sea air and the character of a European style pier-mounted pavilion the St Kilda Pier Kiosk is a wonderful meeting place for locals and visitors alike.