Located on Fitzroy’s busy Gertrude Street, the newly-opened Gertrude Hotel fuses the Italian history of Melbourne with Australian pub culture, resulting in a modern venue with European allure.
From artworks to recipes, Gertrude Hotel features items that managing director and co-owner Iza Dawkins has sourced during his extensive travels across Italy.
Co-owner and head chef Andy Lockyear has created a seasonal menu and has collaborated with local farmers and producers to understand the best ingredients for each season. Lockyear has a background in fine dining, predominantly at Sydney’s Rockpool Bar + Grill, as well as heading up the opening of the Melbourne venue. With the most expensive menu item priced at $39 and most mains sitting in the range of $20, Gertrude Hotel promises fine dining at pub menu costs.
On the menu, pub favourites such as char-grilled scotch fillet and chicken parma sit alongside classic Italian fare like hand-stretched pizza, homemade pasta and tiramisu.
“Italian food is perfect for sharing: antipasti, pizza and pasta. There’s nothing better. The way Melbournians enjoy pubs these days is the same; join friends for a meal and a laugh. We feel like we’re offering the best of both worlds,” Dawkins said.
Gertrude Hotel offers guests several different spaces for a variety of occasions, including ample private function space. Outside the venue, the curbside dining is shaded by white cedar trees, and the entrance leads to the public bar. The area features a hidden TV for important events like the footy season. The rest of the ground floor comprises the table service dining room, with walls lined with European artwork creating a warm and intimate setting. Behind a set of velvet curtains sits the private dining wine room, which seats up to eight guests.
Upstairs, Gertrude Hotel offers two more private dining rooms and a large all-weather outdoor terrace, which is also available for private events. The upstairs Drewery Bar honours the building’s heritage, taking its name from the pub’s original title when it was built in 1854. The feature wall showcases the building’s original bluestone façade, even with newspaper pages from the 1850s wedged into the gaps.