The slow death of Melbourne’s inner-city pubs

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I remember when I was at Melbourne University that it was surrounded by pubs, and you had so much choice to send your teaching studentship money.


22 pubs within half a mile. Our nearest was The Clyde, but went to Naughtons after final exams. The Prince Alfred was the local for the engineering students, populated largely by the guys who worked in car shops in Bouverie St, and had a great Steak, Tomato and Rice, piled high, for a dollar.


I spent all my chemistry pracs in Naughtons.

Had a very clever partner who did all the work and let me copy.

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My days while at RMIT

Thursday-Anglers in Summer, Redback/Down Under/Lambs or Twin
Friday-Turf club
Sunday Afternoon session-Geebung


I’d say the pandemic would’ve contributed to some of the recent decline, especially where they are heavily reliant on patronage from people that work in the CBD and might call in for a drink and a meal after work. Also some people have probably been conditioned to sitting at home and drinking, or inviting friends over rather than going out, so behaviours may have changed in that regard too…

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The Clyde was always our Saturday night haunt during uni years - and we were mostly at Monash. But it’s not like there were any pubs worth a damn in frigging Clayton. The Monash Uni union nights were dynamite though.

Switched to the Moosehead after the shitshow where Lion Nathan bought out the Clyde, and Naughtons, etc etc etc and all of a sudden you could only get Tooheys there. That was certainly where i started to get my taste for wanker premium beers, but the atmosphere was never remotely the same. What the creeping pokies-isation of every pub in the state started, Tooheys finished.


No need to go to pubs anymore. If you are looking for a punch on, just go to the Essendon President’s function.


The Notting Hill pub was legendary and Kath the owner knew how to handle drunks.


You only had the necessity to go there if you didn’t get good enough marks to get into Melbourne.

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I went on a North Fitzroy pub crawl last weekend. Wouldn’t say they’re in decline atm (although maybe on the grander time scale)

One pub which is booming told us that Covid bought in more clientele as they got their takeout menu in play. Now those customers drink there every weekend.

Really hope the Curtain survives. Had great memories having beers at that iconic front bar!


Very true, but it was educational to cross the Yarra and see they lived.

North Fitzroy, Fitzroy and Collingwood are the last bastions of pub culture left.


oh man the Moosehead bar.
$2 Crownies and giant snitzels.


Definitely the best suburbs as far as good pubs go. Abbotsford also has some good boozers and there are plenty of places in Richmond (not many good ones), North Melbourne, Williamstown and South Melbourne.

I live in Footscray and there isn’t much on offer here or in any of the surrounding suburbs. A neighbour told me there used to be lots of good pubs here, but many have closed down. A real bummer, in my opinion.

Naughtons was the most overrated and crappiest pub in the history of pubs.

Propped up by Trinity and Ormond students who were complacent in being the privileged offspring of Tory supporters and would unquestioningly continue that tradition.


Inclined to agree, judging by the people i knew who drank there.

I could have served you at the Clyde if you stuck fat. I worked there in 2002 the year Lion Nathan took over. Fun times. Spent a lot of money at the Clyde before working there, Naugtos, Moosehead, Turf Club and PAs. I actually stayed at Naughtons last weekend. It’s now a boutique hotel with a fancy dining room downstairs. Pleasingly the toilets were still in the same spot downstairs!

One of my favourite nights was when a mate filled in for a shift at Mooseheads. I went out went a $20 note and came home with $30 in coins. Not sure the till balanced for him that night.

So many stories from the uni pubs.


I was an Ag Science student and played cricket for Melb Uni who were sponsored by Naugtos. So I spent a lot of time in there. Friday afternoons in there after our monthly ag BBQs were epic!

Free if you could finish it. But who can finish a plate of road kill…

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