I'm an Arts student in Melbourne, with a love of drawing and writing and a passion for history and art.
Published January 7th 2014
Melbourne's Iconic Pub
The iconic Melbourne pub on the corner of Swanson and Flinder's Streets, has undergone many changes in its history. It has, however, remained a Melbourne institution.
The Swanston and Flinder's St facade
In the 1830s, John Batman bought the land on which it now stands at Melbourne's first Crown Land sale. He lived there with his family until his death when it was turned into a schoolhouse. In 1861 the Princes Bridge Hotel opened. Fourteen years later, in 1875, two successful Irish diggers, Henry Young and Thomas Jackson, took the pub over, hence, when the current name came in. The five separate buildings were gradually incorporated into one, similar to the look the building now has.
The Swanston St entrance
Young remained the publican until 1914, once the partnership dissolved. He had built up an art collection which included the nude portrait named Chloe, which has hung in Young and Jackson's since 1909. Painted by Jules Joseph Lefebvre, the subject is a young French girl, who was thought to be nineteen when the picture was painted. Little is known about her. In 1988 Heritage Victoria and The National Trust declared that the painting of Chloe and the pub itself must stay together, after there were rumours she may have been going to Perth.
There are two main dining areas in the pub, Chloe's Restaurant upstairs and Y&J's Cafe downstairs. In the upstairs restaurant you can gaze at Chloe herself and sample Modern Australian food mixed with Mediterranean influences. Downstairs is suitable for a casual meal or snack. Upstairs you can book a table or larger areas for private functions. Downstairs there is no booking.
Young and Jackson's is also home to a cider bar. Which features Australian and New Zealand ciders on tap. As well as bottled international varieties. It is a cool and relaxed space, with outdoor seating and fake grass floors. Earlier in the week it is usually quieter and a great place for a relaxed drink with a friend. Later in the week it gets quite crowded and a larger space would have been good. It does give it a vibrant, busy feel though and there are heaters for winter, although as long as it's busy, they're not really needed.
Cider Bar- Young and Jackson's
The cider bar
Downstairs there is also a traditional, old English style pub. There are leather booths and another larger area, where you can see out to the street and watch the people passing by.
The downstairs bar
Whether you're looking for a good meal, quick snack, or a drink with friends, Young and Jackson's really does cater for almost everything. Whilst you're there, don't forget to look around, the building is part of Melbourne's history.