Escape to Coburg's Pentridge prison this weekend
Melbourne's made a bit of a habit out of turning its historic prisons into public spaces. You might have been to the Old Melbourne Gaol on a historic tour or to see installations during White Night, and you might even have been to the former HM Prison Pentridge in Coburg for a good spookin'. Pentridge is once again hosting an open day on Saturday, May 21 to launch the redevelopment of the old prison complex into a shiny new community hub that features apartment buildings and retail spaces.
The open day will feature a muster of food trucks and stalls by the likes of Sydney's Knafeh Bakery, Sliders on Tyres, Grace Coffee and Cake Caravan, Pizza Wagon and many more. Activities include a kids gardening workshop by The Sage Garden, live music entertainment, and tours of Division B where Chopper Read and other notorious criminals did their time.
It would appear that more than a few people have had their eye set on this historic northside site. Late last year, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that Daniel Caneva, the owner of Coburg's Post Office Hotel, plans on opening a microbrewery, restaurant and beer garden in July. The brewery is being set aside for craft brews including Bluestone Bitter and Caneva's existing label Coburg Lager. Caneva also told AFR that the beer garden and wine bar will use former solitary confinement cells as private booths and wine cellars. Clearly, there will be nothing quite like having a quiet Sunday session with the potential ghosts of the prison's past tenants.