St Kilda’s ‘Last Original Live Music Venue’ Under Threat

19 February 2024 | 9:07 am | Mary Varvaris

This iconic St Kilda venue could be closed by June 2024.

Vineyard St Kilda

Vineyard St Kilda (Source: Google Earth)

St Kilda’s “last original live music venue”, restaurant and bar The Vineyard, is in danger of closing down later this year after the Port Phillip Council issued the venue owners – the Iodice brothers Johnny, Alex, and Adrian – with an eviction notice.

According to a petition started by a user named Kristie Klein, the venue – more than 100 years old and has offered live music since the 1990s – was asked by the council to provide plans for an upgrade. This request was made after several years of negotiations.

Upgrade plans for The Vineyard were put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic, but “After being ordered by the judge to negotiate, the council proposed a renovation that is not commercially viable and will see the venue shut down by June this year,” the petition reads. The Vineyard has since been issued with an eviction notice.

In August 2019, the Port Phillip Council expressed plans to add a second storey to the iconic venue, with the council then considering a 15-year lease at market rate following any renovations.

According to Real Estate Source, “A landlord contribution of 50 per cent of the amount of the building works exceeding $1 million (but capped at $600,000) is also part of the redevelopment arrangement.”

The Vineyard is open seven days a week, with the bar open from noon until 3 am daily and the kitchen from noon to 9 pm Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 pm on Sundays. You can view the petition here.

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St Kilda was named Victoria’s first Live Music Precinct (LMP) in June 2023. The existence of an LMP in Victoria aims to provide a framework to support the required changes designed to balance the needs of venues, performers, and residents in a growing suburb. Community consultation will continue to be undertaken as the project progresses.  

In August, the Port Phillip Council outlined proposals to open a brand-new music venue in St Kilda right next to the Palais Theatre – The Vineyard is next to Luna Park, next door to the Palais – that would hold 5,000 punters.

The proposed venue would fill the gap in Melbourne for a purpose-built indoor live music and performance venue for up to 5,000 patrons. It also contains an outdoor space, which is crucial for its multi-functionality.