The Curtin
The Curtin | Image: Facebook

Melbourne Venue The Curtin No Longer Closing Down, Publicans Granted 10 Year Lease

Beloved Melbourne venue the John Curtin Hotel has been saved from closure, with its publicans signing a fresh ten year lease. News of the impending closure of The Curtin was announced earlier this year, inspiring countless calls to save the famed pub and music venue.

“The rumours are true,” publican Benjamin “Rusty” Russell wrote on Facebook in February. “It’s with an agonisingly sad heart, that The John Curtin Hotel’s time on this earth will come to an end. The owners of the almost 150-year-old building have decided to sell, making way, most likely, for apartments.”

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At the time, Russell said the current lease was due to expire on Wednesday, 30th November, with no clarity as to what would occur after that date. An attempt to save the building was made by Heritage Victoria, who attempted to get it on the state’s heritage list. A final ruling on that bid will not take place until February 2023.

With the fast-approaching closure date in mind, fans flocked to The Curtin to celebrate its status as a live venue, with several gigs planned as a way to bid farewell. On Friday, 25th November, however, it was revealed that Russell had signed a new ten year lease, effectively saving the venue.

“This is a really exciting day, for what has been a really stressful time since the building was sold,” Russell said in a statement. “Not many people know this, but we have been running The Curtin on a year by year basis since first taking over in 2012.”

He continued, “[I chose to] take on extraordinary financial risk because I love what I do and I love the community we have built. I am hopeful that if the building is placed on the heritage register, we can work closely with Heritage Victoria to make the necessary changes the venue so desperately needs – so we can continue to host live music well into the future and so we can continue to serve our wonderful community in the front bar for many years to come.”

    The CurtinSteve Bracks, Bill Shorten and Daniel Andrews at the Curtin | Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The Curtin currently has no gigs scheduled past its original 30th November closing date. Events that were booked as the Curtin’s “final” shows are now being spun as celebrations of the venue’s survival.

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