What to expect when Melbourne’s legendary Albert Park Hotel reopens

Historic Melbourne pub The Albert Park Hotel will finally enter its new phase next month when it reopens after an extensive transformation that has been in the works ever since it was purchased by Colonial Leisure Group in 2014.

The venue, which dates back to 1883 and is widely considered the beating heart of the Albert Park community, will now be a seafood-focused gastropub with a restaurant titled Happy Valley. Led by Exec. Chef Ken Yuen, who will close his popular Albert Park restaurant VicAsia ahead of taking up the new role, has put together a modern-Chinese menu comprised of contemporary and classic dishes to celebrate local and sustainable sourced produce.

Victoria and Australian produces will be represented by the pub’s curated wine list, tightly wound by General Manager Brad Hammond. A large selection of back vintage premium wines will be highlighted by the list at Happy Valley.

Visually, the Albert Park Hotel will be an ambitious reimagining by Six Degrees Architects and renowned stylish Anna Roberts, leaning on contemporary design but still respectfully embracing the venue’s past. Expect a marriage of old and new, with original brickwork complemented by a four-story atrium flooded by natural light through expansive windows, circling around a huge tree that brings a bit of nature to the interior.

Roberts has looked to the past to bring this enormous project to life, sourcing vintage pieces to fill the pub with local and original artefacts. Happy Valley will be brought to life with beautiful antiques with a Chinoiserie spin, chosen to reflect the menu.

A main public bar for quick drinks, snacks, and some sport-viewing will be the more casual side of the pub, while Happy Valley will be close nearby with a more intimate setting. The Albert Park Hotel’s characteristic alfresco seating will be kept consistent with the venue’s fame, soaking up the leafy neighbourhood.

An added upstairs bar and lounge will come alive at night, placing a bigger focus on cocktails, with a list put together by none other than Proof & Company, widely known for curating cocktail menus for some of the world’s most famous bars, including Singapore’s Atlas. This part of the pub will edge into a moodier cocktail lounge atmosphere, with rattan shutters and private booths that can seat up to eight people, bookable by guests who are hoping to experience the restaurant menu upstairs.

Opens March 2020 | Corner Montague & Dundas Place Albert Park 3206 | thealbertpark.com.au

Image: Simon Shiff

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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