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The Tote exterior
Photograph: Graham Denholm

This iconic Melbourne pub is up for grabs – is this your sign for a career change?

If you've ever wanted to own a slice of Melbourne history, now is your time

Written by
Jade Solomon

The dark days of lockdown may be behind us, but the after-effects of the pandemic are still being felt across the hospitality industry. In sad news, the owners of the Tote Hotel have announced that due to financial struggles, they have made the difficult decision to sell the business. It's a story that unfortunately is not unique, with other late-night Melbourne establishments such as Colours closing its doors in recent months. 

The Tote needs no introduction. A stalwart of the Melbourne live music scene, it's been a grungy, rowdy party palace for rock and rollers for longer than most can remember. It's the kind of place that has never done things quietly – you may recall the full-scale protest that erupted back in 2010, when licensing laws threatened to shut the place down.

And again, it looks like this old dog is not going to go down without a fight – there has already been a strong interest in the land and building since it hit the market just a few days ago. With expressions of interest open until April 6, you've still got time to have a long, hard think about whether you may be the next saviour of this Melbourne institution. Perhaps you have always been keen to crack into the hospitality business, are looking for an investment or are just passionate about owning a slice of Melbourne's history and taking it into its next stage of life.

The Tote will continue to host gigs for now until new owners have been secured, and we're intrigued to see what the next proprietors will do with the space.

Need a drink after reading that news? Check out the 50 best bars in Melbourne and then kick on with the best late-night bars in Melbourne

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