Before the Croft Institute and Romeo Lane, there was Meyers Place Bar. The laneway bar, while unassuming, is one of Melbourne's first ever laneway gems and it's just announced that the owners are planning to call last drinks in June this year.
The site is owned by the owners of Waiters Restaurant, the Italian institution directly upstairs from the bar. Co-owner Drew Pettifer says, "they gave notice that they do not intend to offer us another lease when the current lease expires on June 22."
When the small bar closes its doors for good on Saturday June 10, Meyers Place Bar will have been open for 23 years. The late-night venue designed by architecture firm Six Degrees opened in 1994 when changes to Victoria's liquor licensing laws saw Melbourne CBD venues open later, helping to transform the city into the cosmopolitan hub we're all familiar with now. Since then, the watering hole won a slew of awards including the Royal Australia Institute of Architects Commercial Interior Award in 1995, and the first Melbourne Prize for Architecture in 1997. Most recently the bar received a Lord Mayor's Commendation in 2016.
It's not all doom and gloom for one of Melbourne's oldest laneway bars; the owners are scouting for a new location nearby and they're planning on bringing the original fitout along with them. "It won't exactly be the same place, but we would like to capture the spirit of the bar as much as possible," Pettifer says.