Open: Daily 2pm-late
The Evelyn is an unpretentious pub in the heart of Fitzroy and a focal point of the north-of-the-Yarra music scene. It's not much to look at (inside or out), but it has a warm, inviting atmosphere. A large part of that charm can be attributed to the staff. You could describe them as 'characters' if you weren't very good at articulating your thoughts. Basically, they give the place a down-home atmosphere - like you've just walked into someone's kitchen and ordered a pint. If it weren't for the live music emanating from the band room, you may just think that's the case. Inside is a real mish-mash of furniture: some old couches, a couple of sit-down arcade cabinets, a projection TV showing sport and music, chandeliers and a pool table. It's pretty clear that an interior decorator has never set foot in the place. But the Evelyn is more of a hotel you drop into for the music, rather than the aesthetics. Local and touring live acts hit the stage most nights of the week, and beer specials keep the audience well and truly in the mood for a party, even when it's a school night. The Evelyn's outdoor courtyard fronts onto Brunswick Street and usually houses a selection of band members, graphic designers and other 'creatives'. Given the hotel features music so heavily, it's not really surprising that bands 'tune up' on a table outside before the sound check inside. The drink selection is basic but cheap. Jugs of local beer go for $10 on Mondays and Tuesdays, and aren't much more expensive the rest of the week. You won't find a cocktail menu, but the Evelyn is not that kind of venue. A relic of years gone by, it's a simple, comfortable pub, perfect just the way it is. Stayed tuned for the new rooftop garden in 2009.
How long have you been operating as The Evelyn Hotel?
The Evelyn Hotel is one of Melbourne’s most iconic live music venues. It was bought by the D'Alessandro family in 1968 as a restaurant which hosted live music on the weekends. However, in 1987 the family leased it out until 1991 when a young John D'Alessandro and his sister took over the business again. They have gone on to spend 22 years here in which they have established The Evelyn as one of the best seven nights a week music venue in Australia.
What do you feel is your major attraction?
Definitely our rooftop. It’s covered in amazing graffiti which people can paint over, add too and stare at. We have recently had the likes of Thee Oh Sees, Boomgates and Hiatus Kaiyote play there as well. If the sun is out then it offers the best vibes on Brunswick Street guaranteed.
What was your favorite show in the last six months and why?
The final night of Mangelwurzel’s residency is one to remember. All that needs to be said is: Prince cover band, Purple Rain, stage invasion, mass nudity. Also, back in August we had US punk rock icons Guttermouth play here. In the lead up to the show their tour was receiving all sorts of press about how drunk the singer got before a show and just generally how nuts they were. When they hit our stage though they were the nicest guys out and put on one hell of a rowdy show.
Could you nominate a bartender of the month?
Our bar manager Nick is something of a face for the venue with his big bushy beard. Although, if I say any more it may increase his already formidable ego.
How many nights of live music & entertainment are running at your venue
We have seven nights a week of live music, including a Sunday matinee show which takes us up to eight shows a week. Although there have been some weeks where we squeeze in a couple more on top of that.
Ways to get there?
Being on Brunswick street we are in a fairly central location. The 112 takes you right near our doorsteps while if you get off at the corner of Brunswick and Johnston streets after catching the 200, 201, 203, 205 and 207 busses you’ll be able to grab a kebab before hitting our doors.
Available for functions?
We are available for shows any night of the week just hit up our friendly booker Jack.
The Evelyn caters for a wide range of people. We have an eclectic range of bands playing here so you can find pretty much anyone drinking within our confines.
12pm – 1.15am, seven nights a week.
On Mondays and Tuesdays you will find entry around the $2 mark. However, we generally fall within the $6 to $15 bracket.
We run $10 jugs of Carlton on Mondays and Tuesdays as well as $2.50 pots on Thursdays. We encourage people to bring in food from anywhere on the street and eat it while chugging on a pot in our beer garden. I recommend a burger from Yong’s Green Food.
The Evelyn Hotel has been a landmark venue since 1968. Everyone has played here at some point, including bands like Muse, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), International Noise Conspiracy, Ween, Dirty Three and Hiatus Kaiyote.