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the espy story
Since 1878
Welcome to
Hotel Esplanade

“As much as you’ve bought The Espy, you’ll never really own it” – a message passed on from the previous owners of Hotel Esplanade and a statement that rings true today.

Your favourite band in The Gershwin Room, pre-gig beers in the public bar, stumbling in from the seaside… everyone has a story to tell about The Espy. 144 years of stories and secrets are hidden in its walls, from budding romances, to celebrations, break ups and make ups. If the walls could talk, they’d tell some unbelievable tales.

A home for many years to Melbourne’s colourful characters, from members of the arts community, to musicians looking for their first big break and the philanthropist, Alfred Felton, who lived and died in The Espy.


144 years ago a local politician purchases a plot of land & the building of Hotel Esplanade commenced. One year later, the hotel opens its doors -making it the most luxurious hotel in Melbourne.
Over the next 90yrs the hotel welcomed famous faces, (including Mark Twain & Alfred Felton), hosted fancy soirées, added a ballroom (which is now the Gershwin Room), endured a World War & adapted to many cultural changes along the way.
The 1970s’ brought the era of punk, rock ‘n’ roll & the start of The Espy’s 40yr survival story with threats for casinos, apartments & demolition all put forward but battled by the local community.
2015 saw the venue close its doors for a planned renovation – dragging out longer than expected & with a change of hands & lots of hard work The Hotel re-opened its doors again in 2018 & welcomed back its local loyal neighbours & introduced itself to many new fans.

The Espy

there’s no
pub like it!

Whether you want to enjoy a good meal, kick back with some drinks or take in a gig, there’s only one place to be – Hotel Esplanade, the best pub in St Kilda. Fine food, functions, fun gigs and five levels of different bars, Hotel Esplanade has historically been one of the most popular bars in St Kilda.

Whatever bar scene you prefer, whatever tipples you enjoy, you’ll find everything you could desire under one roof at Hotel Esplanade. We operate 12 different bars across 5 levels, with hand-picked wines, classic and custom cocktails, more craft beers than you could ever imagine and spirits from our very own in-house barrel-ageing program. We even show live sports in the Public Bar, with every live AFL kick-off the season show on our TVs.

It is this widespread range of bars and drinks, coupled with our excellent customer service that has earned us our stellar reputation as one of the leading St Kilda bars.