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As the government further limits the number of people who can be in a venue at one time, the hospitality industry has banded together to ask for financial support and certainty to save the industry. Australian hospitality lobbying group the Night Time Industries Association (whose chairperson, Michael Rodrigues, is also the managing director of Time Out) is calling on the government to provide some certainty to the more than 900,000 Australians who work on the hospitality industry. The NTIA has launched the Keep Our Venues Alive campaign and is pushing the federal government to: Work with councils to suspend business rates on venues for at least three months; Make financial provision for all venue staff (including casual staff) and self-employed people who cannot work for at least three months; Provide tax relief to the hospitality, arts, culture and recreational sectors for at least three months; Encourage and support landlords to provide rent holidays to such businesses for at least three months; Create a fund to support businesses that are forced to close or cease trading; and Force insurers to cover closures of businesses and cancellations of festivals and events due to the pandemic. Rodrigues says the government must act urgently to save Australia's hospitality and culture sector: “Inaction will result in some of our best-loved pubs, restaurants, cafés, theatres and music venues closing down. The impact on the Australian economy and our local communities will be disa
If you’re a hospitality worker impacted by the unfolding Covid-19 crisis – and we know that thousands of you are – here’s a tiny bright spot of good news. From 12 noon today (Friday March 27), meal vouchers worth $25 are being made available to affected hospo staff over 18 years of age in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Four thousand vouchers courtesy of Pernod Ricard (makers of wine and spirit brands like Absolut Vodka, Jameson Whiskey and Jacobs Creek) will be made available via Deliveroo. On the one hand, the vouchers will provide a free, quality feed for workers in tough times; and on the other, they'll help keep takeaway businesses operating. To get your hands on a Meals for Mates voucher code, just email MealsForMates@pernod-ricard.com along with a photo of your RSA card or other proof of working in the hospitality industry. It’s a first-come, first-served offer, but the voucher itself is valid for three months. The offer applies to anyone in the broad spectrum of hospitality, from bar workers, chefs, kitchen hands, sommeliers and front-of-house to sales reps. Full terms and conditions are here. The $100,000 worth of vouchers may admittedly only be a very small candle of hope in a whole lot of darkness, but it’s not the only candle. Venues and businesses are doing everything they can to help their employees and the sector generally, and Melburnians under lockdown are doing their bit too. Whether or not you are in the hospo industry you can lend a helping hand at this d
On Monday, March 16 Melbourne Theatre Company joined dozens of other Melbourne arts venues in shutting its doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The shutdown (like all others) was a compassionate and precautionary move that prioritised the health of audiences, staff and performers. Refunds and exchanges have, naturally, been made available for ticket holders affected by the closure. But MTC is also giving patrons a third option – the ability to donate the cost of your tickets to the company. And that’s the option you should strongly consider taking. Few industries will escape the economic impact of COVID-19 and Melbourne’s usually thriving arts culture will likely be hit hard. It’s been less than a week since the recommendation against non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more was announced, and already I Lost My Gig Australia has calculated almost $50 million in lost income in the live music industry alone. At the time of writing, almost every theatre in Melbourne has now shut and cancelled all performances for at least a month, with the same true for our galleries. The arts don’t just employ artists. We are only able to enjoy theatre, dance, art, comedy and music thanks to huge support teams – ushers, ticket staff, backstage, install crews, security and hospitality staff – many of which are employed on casual contracts. And if venues are struggling once they reopen (and they will reopen) they may not have the funds to keep all staff employed. By choosing to donat
Due to COVID-19, staying in is really having a moment. To help contain the spread of the virus, most of Melbourne’s cultural institutions have now closed, including the National Gallery of Victoria. But thanks to the magic of the internet, we can inform you dear reader that you can still engage with the NGV virtually from the comfort of your home. The NGV announced today that virtual tours, ebooks, online galleries and children’s activities will soon be available online, in addition to the gallery’s already hefty online collection (it features 75,000 works, 90 per cent of which are available online). Visitors who missed out on seeing Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness (an exhibition title which feels way too real now) are in luck, with the gallery announcing both exhibitions will be available as online tours. The free virtual tours are led by a curator, giving both those who have and haven’t seen the exhibitions a new insight to them. Installation view of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines at NGV International, 1 December 219 – 11 April 2020 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York © Keith Haring Foundation Photograph: Tom Ross Both tours (and more) can be viewed via NGV Channel. The Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness virtual tour is available on March 21, and the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines tour available on March 28. Bookworms
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a challenging, uncertain time for all of us. The global pandemic of the coronavirus has prompted strict measures and restrictions to everyday life in order to slow its spread. As of March 15, the Australian government has recommended that we practice ‘social distancing’ nationwide, a move which has been highly effective in places like Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, that have since seen a slowdown in new cases. Of course, it’s only natural to want to reach out and hug friends in these strange times, or distract yourself from the general chaos of the news cycle by going out. But right now, those simple gestures are far more complex to navigate. So we’ve pulled together a list of tips and tricks to help you socially distance successfully (without absolutely losing it). Here’s the rundown so you don’t get run down. What is it? Social distancing is just creating distance between yourself and other people as a measure to slow the spread of an infectious disease. This is important because COVID-19 spreads through contact with an infected person showing symptoms (or 24 hours before they do), or contact with a surface they have touched or coughed on. Why should we socially distance? Minimising contact with others will spread out the time over which the virus moves through the population. That’s not to say it’s a 100 per cent guarantee you won’t get sick. However, our health system will be overwhelmed if everyone gets ill all at once, and social dista
COVID-19 quite literally killed the laughter this month after the threat of the virus caused Melbourne International Comedy Festival to cancel just over a week before it was due to start. Since then an increasing number of us have been encouraged to social distance – a term that is surely a frontrunner for the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. Luckily this pandemic has hit in the 21st century, a time marked by online streaming services available without having to interact with a single human. Ten of the biggest Australian names that had been booked for MICF 2020 have just announced stand-up specials streaming via Amazon Prime. The line-up of Aussie comedians includes Zoë Coombs Marr, Judith Lucy, Celia Pacquola, Anne Edmonds, Tom Walker, Tommy Little, Lano and Woodley, Dilruk Jayasinha, Alice Fraser and Tom Gleeson. Two specials will be released every week starting Friday, April 10. The comedy specials were even filmed right here in Melbourne at Malthouse Theatre so you can pretend, for a bright, shining moment, that everything is back to normal. Here's our current list of venue closures and event cancellations across Melbourne. Plus Melbourne's restaurants are getting innovative to cope with COVID-19 restrictions.
Have our restaurants and bars not been through enough? As the hospitality industry banded together to support one another during the catastrophic bushfires across the country and both restaurants and farmers were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, a global virus pandemic has broken out. The measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus might seem extreme, but it is our social responsibility to self-contain, self-quarantine, engage in social distancing and generally be more aware of our personal hygiene. This is causing even more strain on a restaurant industry that is already operating at a loss after a major disaster on wafer-thin margins. To ensure that your favourite diner, bar or eatery is going to remain open, here are some things you can do to help. 1 Buy a gift voucher When you purchase a gift voucher, the money goes directly to the restaurant right now, which means the venue can keep the doors open another day. Gift vouchers generally don't expire for at least 12 months, so you will be able to claim your meal back at a later date. 2 Buy merchandise Does your favourite restaurant sell a branded tote bag, T-shirt or any other sweet merch you've been eyeing off? Buy it. If your local is technology savvy, it probably has an online store to back it up. Every dollar will help keep the lights on. 3 Get take away Restaurants and bars are changing up the way they do business to get through tough times. This means that even if they haven't been able to previous
Readings bookshops around Melbourne are staying open (for now) and the team is also offering free delivery to those who don’t feel comfortable going out during this time of social distancing. Readings staff will be making deliveries to suburbs set out in the map below. The area is based on proximity to Readings stores, which include Carlton, Doncaster, Hawthorn, St Kilda and Malvern. (Readings in the CBD is currently closed following the closure of the State Library of Victoria on Monday). All you need to do is call your nearest Readings store and staff will take your order over the phone. You can also order online to these suburbs and this will also qualify for free shipping (just write ‘LOCAL’ in the comments when you order). The team can also only deliver books they have in stock, so best to check with the store first to confirm they have what you’re after. Don't forget – Readings also stocks vinyl records, DVDs and CDs! Check out Readings’ website here to place your order. Businesses desperately need your support right now – here’s how restaurants are changing things up amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Need to laugh? MICF’s biggest Australian comedians will stream their comedy specials online.
Health! Safety! Common decency! We all want it, and we all can't live without it. The news is bleak, supermarkets have been pillaged, and for those of us who have not been panic buying and stockpiling, it is hard to find basic items to make a meal, let alone clean yourself. What a time to be alive. We have also been told to practise social distancing, and the flow-on effect of this is that restaurants, cafés and bars have been reporting to us an average drop of 40 per cent in revenue in the last week. This is heartbreaking considering that the hospitality industry was just starting to recover after the bushfires and are now faced with excess stock. Luckily, Melbourne's restaurants are a generous and resilient bunch and are offering services to people including home delivery, rescue packs and even preprepared meals that can get you through these tough times. And think of it this way: you'll be rescuing stock from ending up in the bin and ensuring your favourite venue will still be open when we are allowed to shake hands and hug each other again. Here's a list of the initiatives from the venues we are aware of. By no means take this as a definitive list, as everything is moving very quickly right now. Please be sure to check the social media accounts of your favourite venue to keep up with what they're doing. Etta: For those unable to dine at Etta, it is offering special delivery from a takeaway menu (on the website). The staff will personally deliver these dishes to you on foo
Chef and owner of Annam and Pho Nom Jerry Mai has grown out her mohawk, but make no mistake, she is still a tough nut. After the initial ghost town of Chinatown after the first announcements of COVID-19, Mai endured, adapted and brought the crowds back to her doorstep, but things have now taken an obvious turn for the worst. So, for those who are practising social distancing, Mai has created take-home menus for both Annam and Pho Nom. All orders will be taken over the phone for Annam starting from 2pm, tomorrow (March 18), and meals can be picked up between 5-7pm. Food will be packed in a way that you can either heat and eat or freeze for a later date. Pho Nom's meals will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Dishes will change daily, but the meals will always be $18 each. Please keep up to date with the menu by following the social media accounts. The current menu for Annam is as follows: - Mekong beef curry, bamboo shoots, morning glory, Thai basil- Roast pumpkin rendang with potato, toasted coconut and baby corn- Pad Thai with prawns or tofu- Tom Yum duck fried rice- An entree pack of dumplings and spring rolls that you will need to cook at home If you spend more than $30 at Annam, Mai will personally buy you a beer while you wait, or throw in a complimentary bog roll (!!!). Pho Nom's current menu is: - Chicken curry with potatoes and rice- Vegan curry with mock chicken- Grilled chicken rice with nuoc mam dressing and vegetables- Thit kho (braised pork belly) with rice
The heart of the city, home to Chinatown and some of Melbourne's best restaurants and arts institutions.
Arty shops, funky restaurants and bars and hipsters galore.
Great vintage stores, and don't miss the famous Art Deco Astor Theatre.
Inventive bars, geek girl boutiques and envelope-pushing eateries. Plus live music institutions.
Whether you are after great eats, a night out or a film at a Victorian-era cinema, Elsternwick is a great place to find yourself.
We should err on the side of caution when describing Williamstown as “greater Melbourne”. Not only will the locals love to tell you it’s only 20 minutes to the city (and no tolls!), but there’s a beach that’s accessible via public transport, a gorgeous pier to stroll down and stunning views towards the city and across Port Phillip Bay. As Melbourne's first seaport, Williamstown has swiftly developed into a trendy seaside suburb with a village feel. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants, you can hop on a bike and circle the water’s edge, or just find a quiet spot to sit and think about all the things you still have left to do. Looking for more fun in the west? Check out our guides to Footscray and Yarraville while you're here.
Exceptional Italian food, gelato and coffee, plus an excellent museum and theatre.
Seaside retreat with plenty of cool bars and restaurants.
Kensington has northwest charm in spades: there are wide, tree-lined streets, plenty of public transport and green spaces aplenty.
Multicultural hub, with dining options from all over the world and a thriving food scene.