It wasn’t too long ago that Fitzroy North’s Terminus was still operating as a hotel, the sort of hotel where the long-term residents living upstairs wouldn’t think twice about shuffling into the bar in dressing gown and slippers for a few pots of Draught. What a difference a change of ownership can make…
In 2008, it was taken over by Russell Griggs, the man behind the Royston, in Richmond, which was one of the first Victorian pubs to embrace the Australian craft beer revolution. He set about overhauling the beer list, installing more taps and then undertaking a significant overhaul of the entire 160-year-old building. A new kitchen was built and the dining room significantly extended as the Terminus set out to become inner north Melbourne’s premier gastropub.
That proved to be merely the start, with the changes coming thick and fast. In 2012, the decision was taken to demolish the adjoining drive-thru bottleshop and create a new bar and beer garden. The renovations were completed in time for Good Beer Week 2013, with the new Craft Beer and Beer Garden announced in style as the venue became the festival’s first ever Hub, drawing huge crowds and ripping through so much beer the staff were ordering more beer within two days.
Visit the Terminus today and you’ll find 32 taps pouring 16 craft beers lining the U-shaped bar that now links the Public Bar and the Craft Bar. The Public Bar & Dining Room forms the gastropub side of the venue, which combines a cosy atmosphere with a great reputation for top notch food. Head left on the way in from Queens Parade and you’ll find yourself in the more contemporary Craft Bar & Beer Garden with a simpler menu of beer friendly, Asian style food.
Perhaps most appealing, however, is the pricing policy. With lots of taps and thus lots of beer to get through, the management has taken the decision to keep margins low. That means better prices for punters and beer that turns over faster and should be fresher as a result.
It makes for quite a package: a highly rated dining room, a choice of old and new school beer bars, a beer garden, top beer food, a sports bar that means those who don’t like sport needn’t be bothered by it, and well-priced, heavily rotated craft beer. What’s not to like!