You see it in the immediate lead-up to any game. Swarms of fans decked out in their team colours flow through Melbourne’s streets towards that night’s colosseum – usually the ‘G or the neighbouring AAMI Stadium. You could power entire suburbs with the nervous energy generated in the lead-up to bounce and sometimes the nerves get too much and a few pre-game pots are in order. Or maybe you just need a meeting place before venturing out into the fray?
Situated plum on the Bridge Road thoroughfare, the Mt View Hotel is Melbourne’s perfect sports hub. There’s a large ground-level bar featuring a sea of big screens. The only risk while dropping in before a game is getting too comfortable – the atmosphere of the nearby stadiums is palpable here and it’s easy to feel as if you’re already under the MCG stands. Just above the bustle of the street below, the two middle floors have a laidback offering of pool tables and more TVs primed for a decidedly more relaxed viewing, but the jewel in the Mt View crown is its stunning rooftop beer garden. It really does feel like sporting heaven up here. You can see the six famous light towers circling the ‘G, alongside the colourful light-speckled AAMI Stadium – the panoramic view reminds you that you’re in the heart of one of the world’s sporting capitals.
The Mt View serves you well as a destination for watching the game on a big screen but it works best as a place to kick off, or cap off, your match-day experience. The fans flow by to watch their heroes play, and they make the return journey the same way they came. Depending on the result, they could be elated as cars pass with winning scarves hanging out the window. Or they may be a bit disheartened by the final score. The Mt View welcomes the triumphant and the crestfallen with equal hospitality.