21 August

The George Ballroom’s back in business

The George Ballroom

It’s one of Melbourne’s fabled venues – a bit like the Flinders Street ballroom – a place we know about and romanticise, but where few have been.

Georgina Damm, proprietor of event and catering experts Damm Fine Food, recalls being snuck in underage to the ballroom during its band room hey day (she thinks it was to see Kate Ceberano’s band, I’m Talking). “I can remember the red velvet drapes and being intrigued by the space,” she says. Damm set her heart on running events there subsequently and pestered the owner until he relented and opened the doors after a hefty, and no doubt expensive, bit of refurbishment.

After a varied history (seaside destination for the well-heeled in the 1800s through to early ‘50s, then gloriously seedy post-punk venue under the Crystal Ballroom and Seaview banners from the ’70s onwards – The Cure played there, and it was pretty much a regular haunt for Nick Cave’s outfits – the Birthday Party and the Boys Next Door) the George Ballroom fell into disuse and disrepair after being used as an event space for a few years in the ’90s and early 2000s.

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20 August

Legoland Discovery Centre coming to Chadstone in 2017


It’s a bit o’ time to wait, but Lego has foreshadowed that it’s opening the first Legoland Discovery Centre in the Southern Hemisphere in 2017 at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Promising to occupy a whopping space (2800 sqm) it’ll include a bunch of family attractions, including Lego sculptures and play zones, party rooms, a 4D cinema (a sensory cinematic adventure: the wind will actually blow in your hair) and a Miniland, setting out Melbourne’s cityscape and landmark highlights.

Intended for kids and families, it’s also a cool development for grown-ups. Have you played with Lego in recent years? It’s as much fun now as when you were a kid, except for the fact that your skills are probably better and you’re more likely to acquit a feat of engineering genius.

Legoland Discovery Centre. Opens 2017.Read more

20 August

BREAKING NEWS: Melbourne is getting a Dachshund Race in September


Three words: Sausage dogs running.

Oktoberfest is still a while away but the team over at Hophaus Bier Bar is starting the festivities early this year with a Teckelrennen – that’s German for Dachshund Race. These wee wiener dogs will be pitted against each other in an adorably cut-throat race to the finish line.

In partnership with My Dachshund Online, the sausage dog run will raise money for Dachshund Rescue Australia and will take place at Southgate Melbourne.

Better hot foot it and train those stumpy little legs ahead of the big day, and be sure to get those sausage-y outfits on point if you want your wiener dog to take home the ‘Best Dressed Dachshund’ prize.

We’ll just leave you with this.

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17 August

The Northcote Social Club re-opens after weeks of refurbishment


After closing its doors for a few weeks in the name of a needed refurb for the front and bandroom bars, the Northcote Social Club’s open again for business today – all in time for its tenth birthday bash.

From old man pub to one of Melbourne’s finest live music venues, the NSC has come a long way in the past ten years. “You’re fixing things as you go, with these old building,” Andrew Mansfield, part owner and managing director of the NSC, says. “The bars and the spaces themselves never really had a proper going over. When we started, we installed a new beer system and tarted up the bars a little bit – but that was about it. It’s amazing what you can get used to in an operational way. Ten years along, it felt like the right time to refresh and put a bit of love back into the building a put a bit of love into the infrastructure.”

Aside from the bar refurbs, you can look forward to a new full service bar out on the deck, which means that you won’t need to head inside anymore for a beverage.… Read more

13 August

RetroStar’s online store opens next week


As of 10am, Wednesday August 19 you can add the joys of internet shopping to the RetroStar vintage-retail stable. Naturally, the brand is keeping its Aladdin’s cave in the glorious, Art Deco Nicholas Building, but you’ll be able to browse the RetroStar wardrobe from the comfort of your couch.

Melbourne’s vintage set and thrifty shoppers have hit up the store for years for choice finds (where else would you get a vintage ’50s Irish linen dress with shamrocks for $80?). Tucked away on the first floor, it’s always felt like an amazing shopping find and it impresses the shit out of interstate guests looking for new kit. RetroStar has also delighted on a regular basis with its deadly warehouse sales – have you pencilled the weekend of August 22-23 into your diary? That said, a good online find brings a satisfaction all of its own.

Go to RetroStar online, sign up for its newsletter and get a fiver off your first online purchase over 40 bucks.… Read more