The McKinnon Hotel is set for the next stage of its revamp, and with it some things must come to an end. Thus, with the next stage of refurbishment to begin in coming weeks, the historic Return Bar is set to be removed on Tuesday (Jan 27th).
For a venue that began its life as The Gardeners' Arms Hotel all the way back in 1861, renovations are necessary from time to time. While it shall be there in days following, for many locals, the sizeable crowds expected this Friday night (January 23rd) shall serve as the official goodbye party.
Though it shall take time to build a new public bar, it should be said the remainder of the Hotel is still open, and by all indications doing a good business. The new restaurant and dining area was at near-capacity when visited, which was certainly an impressive showing - notwithstanding the summer period - for a normal Tuesday evening.
While the surrounding shopping centres of Ormond and Bentleigh are often prone to change of cafes, shops and stores - though by no means is this necessarily a bad thing - the McKinnon Hotel has been a consistent, and constant presence along McKinnon Rd. Indeed, Indeed, the site is amongst the relatively few left in Melbourne that are almost as old as the state itself (with Victoria founded in 1951). This is what makes The McKinnon Hotel good, this is what makes The McKinnon Hotel rare. With each era and change there is some sadness true, but so too the chance to look forward to a new beginning. So, head on down, raise a glass, and look around for a final time. Beyond next week the next change occurs at a great local venue.
[Disclaimer: This piece has originated exclusively from the author's own idea/interest. While the author is a fan of the venue, he has no professional links with McKinnon Hotel]
With this, the Hotel is encouraging locals to come down, buy a pint, and say goodbye to The Return Bar, as the McKinnon Hotel begins the next chapter in its history.
The historical facade and front entrance to The Mckinnon Hotel as seen from Mckinnon Road