With fresh faces, a fully refurbished bar, taps primed and ready to pour, and a kitchen firing up the ovens, The Deck has had a major make over and is ticking all the boxes with what the new owners have in store.
Formally known as Geelong’s Max Hotel, it was when the team behind Shepparton’s The Deck (a restaurant/bar for diners and party-goers alike) saw the space on the market, that they sent manager Jarrad Anders down to offer Geelong a brand new watering hole with a difference.
Originally from Sydney, Anders previously helped get The Deck in Shepparton up and running, making him the perfect candidate for this new venture and complete remodel of the live music venue along the Waterfront. “We took over end of January and then we started renovating a couple of weeks into February and it’s sort of still ongoing, but the main chunk of it is done now,” he says.
In a historical hotel dating back to 1854, it was given the ultimate refresh with the brand new wooden style décor, bigger fridges (which means more room for beer), and patched up floors, all in the hopes of making it more manageable and more inviting to the public.
With a change in looks also comes a change in the offerings with longer opening hours, crazy good themed Thursday Uni Nights, open mic nights, RnB Friday Nights, and massive Saturday night events. “Saturday night is when we are starting to do events, we have a few Melbourne DJs coming up, but then we also have a few bands booked as well,” Anders says.
DJ’s who have already been spinning the decks at the venue include both local and Melbourne acts including Myles Mac, Planet D, Duckfat, Marley Swain, and more recently Teddy Cream and Brad Smit, with upcoming talents Courtney Mills and Josh Shoe this weekend.
Already looking to upscale their current DJ booth to cater for live bands and even bigger DJ acts, the guys at The Deck have big plans in motion, with talk of a ‘Drag Bingo’, hosting a ‘Social Salsa’ dance event, weekly functions, and even interstate events. “We’ve been talking to a hip hop group from Sydney and bringing their One Day Sunday here which has been pretty big in other cities. It looks like 99 per cent it will be coming here, so that will be a Sunday thing.
“We are just sort of testing the waters at the moment. We are still very much in the trial and error stage right now and just trying to see what people want. We didn’t come here to bring Shepparton to Geelong because that’s just not how it works – we are just trying to find our own niche at the moment.”
While located directly across the road from Deakin’s Waterfront Campus, don’t be fooled. The Deck is not just a uni pub, also offering after-work drinks to Geelong CBD workers just as much as any other patron of Geelong. “Uni students only have so much to spend each week, and the same with the office people. They don’t go to work 9-5 to spend every cent of it here. We’re just trying to find something sustainable so tapping into each market each day and finding other demographics as well is our aim.”
As for the food, the guys at The Deck are offering the good stuff. With $10 lunch specials Monday to Friday, along with a few different dinner specials, the meals are complimentary to the laid back vibe and drinking experience. “At the moment we are doing cheap Tuesday night with a $10 menu, Wednesday night burger and fries night and Thursday night Parma night,” Anders says, “We might have a look at changing it up and shuffling the nights around a little bit, but it’s pretty much where we are going with it.” The guys are also offering their time-poor customers the chance to pre-order their lunch break simply by giving them a call first.
With the food hot, rest assured the beers are cold – and cheap, with the guys getting drink specials for before and after Geelong Home Footy games, along with $5 Coronas to sit by several big screens to watch the AFL and NBA games (with an even bigger screen soon to be on its way). And don’t sweat it about having to go home early, with the guys licensed to 3am every night – “for better or for worse”.
Get your hands around frosty pints of beer, pop in for a look and cheers the boys for giving the people a sweet new spot to go.
Where: 2 Gheringhap St, Geelong
When: Mon 11am – 7pm, Tues 11am – 10pm, Wed 11am – 10pm, Thurs 11am – 3am, Fri & Sat 11am – 3am, Sunday 11am – 9pm
Phone: (03) 5229 5504
Written by Talia Rinaldo