The Exford's history is colourful, to say the least. In 1914 the Chinatown pub was reported for running a prostitution racket. A couple of decades earlier, a tenant tried to murder the barmaid for not loving him. These days, the lodgers upstairs are backpackers, who avail themselves of the Exford’s more legal charms like $7 pizzas, pool tables and a jukebox – both of which are free after 7pm on a Sunday. It's a pub embraced hardest by the young, but the open-till-3am bottle shop still has us praising its name. That and the rooftop deck where knocking back a jug of Carlton Draught just seems right. But maybe you come for Tuesday’s swing classes, or the free stand-up on Thursdays? There’s a touch more class these days, with leather lounges lining the upstairs bar replete with its pressed metal ceilings, stained glass windows and polished woods. The taps are pouring CUB’s craft range – Matilda Bay’s Minimum Chips lager, Itchy Green Pants pale ale and the amber Beez Neez. We still probably wouldn’t lock it in for Mother’s Day unless your ma feels like a nostalgic rager – the Exford has been around a long time and most Melburnians have sticky memories they cherish. It’s just that kind of gaff. For those aged between 18 and 25, your chance to build on that rich tradition comes every second Saturday when finding love over a vodka, lime and soda is like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel than is Razzamatazz disco.
|Venue name:||The Exford Hotel|
199 Russell Street
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 11am-4am; Fri 11am-5am; Sat noon-5am|