By Clyde Mooney

About 160 years after its original license was granted and after three years in the wilderness, Melbourne's famous hotel, The Duke, will re-open in 2013. 

Claiming to be the city's oldest, the pub occupies one of the best positions in the Melbourne CBD, closest to the MCG, and has traditionally been a favourite with sports fans.  

The redevelopment is the handiwork of successful Victorian pub group, Open Door Pub Co (ODPC), and will see the ground floor re-opened early next year, modelled on a traditional hotel 'remixed with an invigorating and modern concept'. 

The other two levels will open in stages over the next 12 months. [continues below]

Named after the fighting Duke of Wellington, aka the 'Hero of Waterloo' who beat Napoleon and went on to become English Prime Minister, The Duke has a rich history including former ownership by football legend Brian 'The Whale' Roberts. 

The moniker 'Have an ale with the whale' resonates strongly with Melbournians. 

Speaking to TheShout, ODPC managing director Michael Thiele said Open Door Pub Co recently acquired the venue's lease after the relationship between the owner and former licensee broke down. 

"It has taken us time to secure planning approval, source funding for the project and to work with the Liquor Licensing to obtain the necessary permits. 

"We look forward to opening a venue that is accessible to everyone – whether they be catching up for a casual occasion with friends or on their way to one of the great sporting events that our city holds."  

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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