Beloved Melbourne venue The Esplanade Hotel – affectionally known as The Espy – has confirmed it will reopen its doors this November, returning to its former glory as one of the country’s most iconic live music spaces.

The Espy has been out of action since it closed its doors indefinitely in November 2015. At the time a significant number of residents had complained to Port Phillip Council over proposed renovations to the venue.

However, The new hotel group behind the venue, Sand Hill Road, has given the institution a serious overhaul and confirmed RocKwiz creator Peter Bain-Hogg as Entertainment Manager, who will oversee its three stages and eclectic musical programming.

“We want The Espy to be a destination for music-lovers from Melbourne, Australia, and all over the world,” Bain-Hogg said.

“A trusted venue where they will be able to hear leading local and international artists and see up and coming artists cut their teeth.”

New Wave Festival’s Janenne Willis takes on the role of Artistic Director, covering a seasonal cultural programme.

The Espy has confirmed that a substantial music announcement would happen in September, detailing their summer schedule. They’re also in talks with RockWiz to potentially return to the venue.

The venue upgrades will introduce punters to a bigger main bar, garden terrace overlooking St Kilda pier, a fast-paced casual dining kitchen, a Cantonese restaurant, cocktail bar and more.

“We’re not trying to please one market, that’s not The Espy. We’re going all out to create a world-class cocktail bar, and then only 27 stairs away have 800 people looking out to the ocean, drinking beers and smashing pizzas or heading into a gig at one of the stages inside,” Sand Hill Road said.

“Different types of people, there for different reasons, day and night. That’s always been The Espy – a melting pot of Melbourne.”

Sources: The Music /

Photo: Peter Bain-Hogg and Janenne Willis