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Iconic Melbourne venue Hotel Esplanade reopened its doors in late 2018 to reveal a brand new look.

Following an 18-month restoration project, Hotel Esplanade, or The Espy as it’s affectionately called, now boasts 12 bars, two restaurants and three stages.

Hospitality group Sand Hill Road purchased the venue in May 2017, and have since returned the 140-year-old venue to its former glory.

Located in a prime location in St Kilda, the venue now spans six levels starting with a kerb-side beer garden on the ground level.

Guests then journey from The Basement stage and iconic Public Bar to the expansive Main Bar, Garden Terrace overlooking St Kilda pier, Gershwin Room and the fast-casual Espy Kitchen.

A new Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar, Mya Tiger, has also opened as part of the refresh.

Hotel Esplanade features a number of event spaces, including the Balcony Bar with capacity for 120 guests for cocktail events, The Ghost of Alfred Felton (150 pax), or The Studio, a fully functioning recording studio ideal for intimate events of up to 35 guests.

“The Espy has always been our ultimate pub dream, but it’s also an awesome responsibility,” said Doug Maskiell, co-founder of Sand Hill Road.

“Every day, we’ve uncovered layers and layers of The Espy’s history that have absolutely blown us away.

“We know we’ll never truly own The Espy – that title belongs to the many thousands of people who have walked its staircases before us, and the many more thousands still to come.”

The renovations have expanded the public offering from three levels to six, which included opening the top level originally lived in by former resident Alfred Felton until his death in 1904.

“There’s something about this hotel that captures the imagination like no other,” said Sand Hill Road co-founder Tom Birch.

“These are the things we determined to keep at the forefront of our minds as we conceived the look, feel and spaces of the new Espy – age, grandeur, history, arts – and respect for what it took to keep her alive all these years.”

Find out more about The Espy’s unique event spaces here.

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