Reborn Espy rejuvenates St Kilda’s image as home of city’s nightlife
“Southside is back,” enthused Doug Maskiell, one of the Espy’s new owners, days out from its reopening.
St Kilda has long been dogged with claims that some of its charm has faded, including that it’s lost its title as the home of Melbourne’s live music scene to the city’s north.
The closing of its iconic Esplanade Hotel three years ago, although always only temporary, seemed to seal its fate.
But it appears the long wait has been more than worth it, with its extensive restoration – including three live music stages, 12 bars and two restaurants – sure to help revive St Kilda’s status as a top nightlife destination.
“The Gerswhin Room is the MCG of music for a lot of people, it’s really hallowed turf,” Mr Maskiell said.
“To not have one of the best band rooms and best music and arts hotels in Melbourne operating has been a real shame.
“To have new life in it, to have it up and about and up on its toes, I think it is symbolic of a really bright future in the area.”