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The exterior of Preston bar Hard Rubbish.
Photograph: Hard Rubbish

These Melbourne bar owners are giving their bar away for free

That's right – for zero dollarydoos, you could be the owner of this northside stalwart

Adena Maier
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Adena Maier
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Have you ever dreamt of owning your very own bar, and unleashing your inner Sam Malone? Well, if you've ever looked into it, you may have been turned off by the steep start-up costs. Rent ain't cheap, let alone filling your space with all the furniture and trinkets that give it character and, of course, stocking up on all the booze. 

Fortunately, those dreams of mixing bevvies and spitting banter aren't as far out of reach as you may think. After nearly seven years of operating one of the northside's best neighbourhood watering holes, the owners of Hard Rubbish are putting their bar up for grabs – and it won't cost you a penny.

You might be thinking, 'Is this a scam?', or perhaps, 'What's the catch?'. A free bar definitely sounds too good to be true – but we promise this is legit. 

Owners Charlotte Tizzard, James Tizzard and Katie Smith initially approached a broker about selling the bar, but when they realised that they wouldn't be coming away with much after paying all the fees, they had a light bulb moment. Why not just give it away to someone who can carry on the bar's legacy? 

They launched the Giving Away Hardo website, and to enter for your chance to claim ownership of Hard Rubbish, you simply have to send a proposal via email. It should outline why the trio should give you their bar and what your vision is for it in the future. Best of all, your proposal can take any form you like, whether that's written, a song, a cartoon or even a funky interpretive dance. 

There are a few caveats: you won't be eligible if you already own heaps of venues and are just looking to add this one to your portfolio, or if you're planning to suck the soul out of the joint by turning it into a super schmick wine bar. 

Aside from that, anyone can apply – but the trio is most eager to hear from regular patrons who already love the bar, young (or young at heart) and hard-working individuals and people with a strong vision for the space. 

Applications are due in by October 15, and shortlisted proposals will be presented to locals both visually and with a Q&A night in November. You can find all the details on the website.

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