At its heart, the Corner is a true blue rock venue. It’s also very much a crowd pleaser. On any given night, the Richmond icon is filled with footy fans glued to the TV screens, leather-clad rocker types, city workers who stumbled off the train station, and groupies of whatever band is playing in the bandroom later on, usually well-known acts and names that are just about to break (Tame Impala played $30 gigs here). The beloved pub would probably have done just fine as it was, but the decision to freshen up the rooftop has made the Corner more fun without compromising its rock’n’roll roots.
The rooftop bar, renovated in early 2017, is now where you’ll find the best seats in the house. On weekends, a DJ spins tunes spanning old-school rock ‘n’ roll to newer stuff, and there’s something romantic about knocking back a cold one in the early evening, watching trains come and go from Richmond train station.
Also upstairs is the kitchen, which opens late on Fridays and Saturdays for a post-show bite. The counter meals are where it’s at: we don’t know if Patti Smith has tried the beef burger named after her, but if she had, she would have bit into a textbook cheeseburger with an Angus beef patty topped with melted American cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles. The Corner kitchen shuns the brioche bun and uses a sesame seed-topped bun that retains its integrity all the way through your meal. The house parma piled high with ham and cheese doesn’t rock any boats, though the side salad of bitter leaves and sliced onions add freshness to the juicy crumbed chicken.
Head Chef Shannon Rice expanded the pub menu into share plates along with the rooftop revamp. The big dishes are excellent value, especially if you’ve spent all your cash on a gig – for less than a pineapple, meaty mains like the smoked pork hock and whole Korean fried chicken come with complete sides (braised potatoes, sauerkraut and gravy for the former, kimchi, pickled cucumber and milk buns for the latter) that means you can easily feed three.
The Corner was also among the first pubs to tap Bob Hawke’s eponymous lager, which we can confirm, makes for easy skolling. And easy drinking seems to be the pub’s approach to the rest of their drinks menu. The beer list changes often but you can count on the classics: think Carlton, Melbourne Bitter or Peroni if you’re feeling fancy.
It’s all about the rock ‘n’ roll at the Corner and it’s a relief that the pub’s heart and soul haven’t been lost during the pub’s recent renovations. Next time you get on a train through Richmond, stop by for a pint or salute those about to rock one of Melbourne’s best live music venues.