GH Hotel | Greyhound HotelThe GH Hotel, one of Melbourne's iconic entertainment venues has closed its doors effective immediately.
This is due to recent developments outside of the owners' control that has left the business insolvent. Despite recent headlines regarding the development potential of the GH hotel site, this is not the reason for the closure. Keeping the GH hotel open for the community has always been the priority of the owners. Unfortunately this is now no longer a viable option.
The owners and management of the GH would sincerely like to thank each and every person who has supported the GH over the years.
It has been a pleasure bringing you world class entertainment, in a venue that was a safe space for everyone.
St Kilda's Greyhound races to oblivion
12 May 2017
Melbourne's best known drag venue and gay pub, the 164-year-old Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda, is being demolished for apartments, after Planning Minister Richard Wynne refused to give it heritage protection.
The hotel closed late last year and an attempt by Port Phillip Council to have Mr Wynne add the building to the heritage list has failed.
Wreckers have begun dismantling the rear of the building.
The company that owns the hotel has a permit to knock it down. It plans to build an eight-level apartment tower.
Mr Wynne last week declined to give the pub heritage protection. It is owned by Karina Harcourt, Chris van der Linden and Will van der Linden.
The general manager of the company knocking down the pub and redeveloping the site, Shane Gardner, said it was difficult to work with Port Phillip Council.
The council had made no objection to the plans to demolish the pub until a public campaign to stop it began, he said.
'' It was only when they got 2700 signatures that they said, 'Whoops, we think we might have made a mistake !' But you can't close the gates once the horse has bolted.''
Mr Gardner said the company had never considered keeping the pub's facade, because of cost.
The pub's owners had asked Mr Wynne to hold off on an interim heritage protection order sought by Port Phillip Council.
The council had failed to apply for heritage protection in previous years, but over the past six months had lobbied for the pub's retention.
A spokesman for Mr Wynne said the hotel's owners had tried to work with the council '' on innovative ways that would keep the pub open, but got nowhere'' .
The council had known since last June that the pub was headed for demolition but had done nothing until it came under public pressure. '' Sadly it was a repeat performance of what we saw at the London Hotel,'' he said.
The London was a 147-year-old Port Melbourne hotel. It was knocked down last month, with apartments to be built in its place.
Port Phillip mayor Bernadene Voss said it was frustrating that Mr Wynne had rejected the council's plea for heritage protection of the Greyhound Hotel.
She said state government planning and heritage policies had too little regard for socially significant buildings like the Greyhound.
'' The number of pubs being knocked down in inner Melbourne to make way for developments underlines the urgent need for clearer and stronger local heritage policy,'' she said.
Cr Voss called for change. '' Let's not have the Greyhound die in vain,'' she said.
Another councillor, Dick Gross, criticised the Planning Minister in a Facebook post.
He said Mr Wynne had taken a '' cowardly stance' ' by not saving the hotel, while simultaneously blaming Port Phillip for failing to stop the demolition.
The hotel was built in 1853 and remodelled in the 1930s. The alterations meant it could not be considered as a historic building, but Port Phillip Council commissioned a report that confirmed its social significance to the community.
The council gave its heritage assessment of the Greyhound site to Mr Wynne last month.
It followed his refusal of its first request for interim heritage protection .
The report for the council by heritage consultants Context found the Greyhound had local historic and social significance .
It found the pub was '' one of a few remaining buildings in Port Phillip which reflects the history of Victorian hotels generally but more locally charts the changing fortunes of St Kilda, and specifically the history of the Victorian [lesbian and gay] community'' .
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