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Central Club Hotel

  • Bars
  • North Melbourne
  1. Central Club Hotel exterior.
    Photograph: Jake Roden
  2. Assorted bar snacks at Central Club Hotel.
    Photograph: Jake Roden
  3. The refurbished bar at Central Club Hotel.
    Jake Roden
  4. Plate of pasta and a pint of beer.
    Photograph: Jake Roden
  5. Assorted plates of bar snacks at Central Club Hotel.
    Photograph: Jake Roden

Time Out says

A stone's throw from the Queen Victoria Market, Central Club Hotel gets a sleek eco-friendly makeover and refreshed menu offering pub fare at its finest

In yet another winning pub revamp for 2023, the folks at Central Club Hotel have unveiled one of the most sustainable renovations to grace Melbourne's hospo scene. The venue has achieved an Aussie first for a commercial space, meeting all the requirements of the Passivhaus Standard by designing every element to be as energy-efficient as possible.

But while you might marvel at the seamless integration of the 150-year-old building’s original jarrah wood in the new furniture and joinery housed within the barely touched Art Deco exterior, it’s the revived food and drinks offering that has our hearts aflutter. Start with the pork and pistachio terrine with peach and muscatel chutney on grilled sourdough, a round of oysters with a finger lime and ginger mignonette, and fried cauliflower so juicy and good it might as well be chicken – though there’s the latter, too, if you've got a more carnivorous tooth. 

The mains cover elevated takes on crowd-pleasing pub classics (think Wagyu cheeseburgers with hand-cut chips and beer-battered fish with mushy peas), organic steaks from neighbouring butcher Hagen’s cooked just how you like with your choice of sauce, plus hand-rolled pasta a fair few notches fancier than what you’d get at most pubs. Take your pick from duck ravioli smothered in brown butter and parmesan foam, squid ink linguine in a prawn bisque, and beetroot risotto with cashew cream and crisped-up thyme to round out the contemporary menu.

The entire project has been spearheaded by publican Vincent Magrath who regularly makes the most of the fresh produce from Queen Victoria Market across the street. Magrath has also transformed the downstairs keg room into the Depot Bar – a cosy whisky bar decked out with historic newspaper clippings and photographs in honour of the building’s illustrious heritage. From fun (or spooky, depending on who you ask) rumours of a ghostly inhabitance to the cosy banquette lounges and impressive spirits collection, it's a unique space designed to host cocktail parties, dates and everything in between.

The drinks list has been curated with excellent pairing in mind, shining the spotlight on smaller, independent producers, alternative wine varietals and a winning line-up of local Aussie brews. Cocktails are made with local spirits, while non-alcoholic options come from none other than the famous Lyre’s Spirit Co. Keen to check it out? Go to the website to make a booking.

Looking for more great Melbourne pubs? Check out our guide to the city's best boozers here or take a walk down memory lane with our list of Melbourne's oldest pubs.

Lauren Dinse
Written by
Lauren Dinse


246 Victoria Street
North Melbourne
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-7pm
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