After receiving a bit of a facelift, the Portarlington venue is ready for a Summer season and whatever celebration you care to bring along with you. Adapt at multi tasking the venue offers a spot to grab a bite to eat, listen to some great live music and a stunning view across the bay. We had a chat to one of the owners Mitch, about his pretty excellent spot on the coast.
Hi Mitch, thanks for taking the time to chat to Forte, how has the Summer preparation been going?
It’s actually been a little hectic!! We’ve recently undertaken some pretty major renovations so it’s been a race against time to get everything up and running and looking swanky again. We’re nearly there now so we are pleased and relieved that it’s all come together for the festive season.
How long has Saints & Sailors been running now and how did it originally come about?
We just ticked over into our fourth year a couple of weeks ago, time flies as they say. The idea of opening a live music venue/bar/restaurant somewhere down the coast had always been a bit of a daydream of ours. After years and years of sitting behind a desk my wife noticed this great old building had come up for lease and she was actually the one who was gutsy enough to say go on, it’s now or never. We both had formed a bit of a shared vision, so we quit our reasonably well paid and comfortable jobs and here we are.
What sorts of facilities does your venue offer?
We offer an extensively stocked bar, casual dining/restaurant area, live stage area that can be configured for both standing and seated shows, a chill out room towards the back of the venue featuring couches and comfy chairs with a large projector screen, a double tiered undercover deck and garden outdoor area featuring an open fire and fantastic views over to the bay and pier.
Your venue has provided the region with another impressive live music venue, who have been some of your more memorable acts to date?
We really have been lucky to have had some absolutely fantastic acts over the years. A few memorable shows that come to mind would be the legendary Chris Wilson, blues stalwart Geoff Achison, a seven-piece bluegrass band from Perth called The Seals and a killer solo set from Paul Woseen from the Screaming Jets.
In addition to the music and bar, you also boast an impressive restaurant, tell us about some of the menu favourites?
We serve a variety of tapas style dishes, shared plates, pita pizzas and a small selection of mains. Where possible we try to focus on using local ingredients and produce and keeping our meals affordable without compromising on quality or freshness. Our ‘From the Sea’ share plate which features a variety of our seafood samplers, including house made popcorn prawns, local marinated mussels and tender locally sourced salt and pepper squid is a real favourite at the moment. Starting December, for the first time we will also be offering a meze styled breakfast menu from Thursday to Sunday.
For first time visitors, what can customers expect from the Saints & Sailors experience?
Well we’ve often been complimented on our ‘leave your pretentions at the door’ atmosphere. Saints is an incredibly welcoming and relaxed venue. We pride ourselves on having the best staff in town and I think a lot of that stems from our staff genuinely enjoying themselves whilst working, interacting with the musos and making people feel as comfortable as they would at home. We can have a really diverse range of punters in on any given night aged from 18 to 80, which I think is a fairly rare yet great thing to have these days for our type of venue. I should also mention that we have an impressive range of original artworks both on display and for sale as well as a couple of hand painted murals that have to be seen to be believed.
What are some of the acts you have coming up this Summer?
We’ve got a bumper schedule lined up this summer. We’ve got a heap of local acts over the next few months including RDZJB, Murdena and Luke Biscan. We’re looking forward to a really special new years eve with a variety of musos on the night including Tex Miller, Ukelele Carnival and Chris WIlson & The Pirates of Beer. Blues legend Stringybark McDowell will also be joining us in January as will former Reptiles frontman Nick Barker.
Where: 36 Newcombe St, Portarlington 3223
When: Thu-Sat 5pm-late; Sun 12.30-6pm
Contact: 0418 517 323