The group called, Preserving Middle Park Village (PMPV) objected to proposed changes that would see the Middle Park Hotel transformed from an all-indoor venue, to expanding to include a rooftop bar.
The historic pub is located 5km south of Melbourne’s CBD and was built in 1889. It was also the site of the first Crowded House show on 31 May 1986.
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A GoFundMe set up to support the PMPV effort has raised $19,400 so far, with a generous anonymous donor to the cause donating $7,500.
“Residents’ overwhelming concerns include excessive noise from an outdoor rooftop music venue and 200 additional visitors (560 total) pouring into our streets late at night,” reads the group’s GoFundMe description.
The group says the money will be used to challenge the proposed development, which has been partially approved by Port Phillip Council.
They have also “retained the services of an experienced attorney who specializes in planning law”, and will be collaborating with technical experts such as audio engineers to advance the case.
The pub’s closing time is disputed
Earlier this year in July, the owners of the Middle Park Hotel – Australian Venue Co – made a last-minute appeal to ensure they could move forward with their original proposed plans, PS modes mentioned.
The group, which is backed by billion-dollar US global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, has moved to make changes to its permit that will allow the bar to stay open until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. for special events such as Grand Prix and New Year’s Eve. .
The council had previously called for stricter guidelines and approved changes that would force the venue to close at 9pm on weekend nights and 10pm on Friday and Saturday.
The pub is currently open from 12pm to 10pm between Sunday and Thursday and trades from noon to midnight on Friday and Sunday.
Council members also blocked plans to allow live or amplified music and DJs to perform on the roof.
“I don’t have a problem with the roof … but I know Middle Park is a very quiet area, where not much happens after nine or ten in the evening,” Councilman Andrew Bond said during the July meeting.
A statement from the Middle Park Hotel and Australian Venue Company provided to news.com.au said the venue did not intend to become a “nightclub” but wished to create a “food-led concept” aimed at local residents.
“It is not a nightclub, but an elegant rooftop dining venue designed to bring friends and families together for quality, relaxing dining experiences,” the statement reads.
“Designed for the modern Middle Park family, this concept will complement the showcasing of the hotel’s historic bar, dining room and dining room.”
The venue also said that the extension proposal had taken into account the advice of acoustical consultants and octave acoustics engineers which would reduce the acoustic impact of the extensions.
“These measures are based on modeling that takes into account the background, music, and noise levels of the recipients,” the statement continues.
Being a good neighbor is important to us.
Not fun: “The roof top is splitting.”
On Reddit, one user sparked a vigorous discussion when they shared a photo of signs from the PMPV, with a comment highly critical of the protest.
“People who live near a pub that has been open for 130 years and then complain about said pubs are the worst kind of people,” they wrote.
“I saw this on my regular Arvo run yesterday in Middle Park. What can I do to let these people know they belong in the minority? A rooftop in this pub would be excellent.”
However, the comments responded overwhelmingly in support of the neighborhood group, with users sharing their negative experiences living near similar places.
One commenter said, “I can tell you from personal experience that it’s no fun living next to a bar/nightclub that’s open until 3am.”
“The restaurant down the street where I used to live has changed owners and has become one of these places, ruining the quality of our sleep.
“The terrible selection of music repeated ad nauseam on weeknights, don’t forget the DJs on the weekends, drunken customers leaving the place or loitering after closing time.”
“The rooftop beer garden is one thing, but suddenly adding music and performance spaces is a little different,” said another user.
“They don’t move into an area that already has a pub or club and complain, the pub is basically building a new place.”