The Eureka Hotel: Back to the Beginning

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The Eureka Hotel: Back to the Beginning

They say sometimes you need to go back to the beginning before you can move forward – and that couldn’t be more accurate for one of Geelong’s well-known night-life venues. After years operating mainly as a nightclub, The Eureka Hotel has been restored to its former glory of a pub and live music venue.

Situated right in the middle of Little Malop Street, manager Jordan Thulborn says there really is “no better location” to bring back an easy-going pub that everyone knows and loves.

“We are a big building, yet we are the only building on the street that doesn’t have anything happening in the infrastructure downstairs. So I just thought, well why not just give the people of Geelong back the venue they know and love. People know Eureka Hotel as a hotel,” Jordan says.

Formally operating as Hashtag earlier this year, it was decided that the venue needed a change, due to the already saturated nightclub market in Geelong, resulting in Eureka taking on the role of a pub once more.

The biggest drawcard about the hotel’s return is of course, the live music, which in the past has seen acts such as Tame Impala, Bluejuice, Wolfmother, Grinspoon, INXS and Birds of Tokyo grace the stage since 2009.
Fridays will now see a number of local musicians take to the stage for ‘Flashback Fridays’ with live acoustic performances, while Saturday nights will host local 80s/90s rock cover band The Hollow from 10pm.

eureka music

However, for those that love to dance, the venue will still have DJs on the decks on Thursday nights and from 1am until late on Saturdays, along with special events and the monthly club night Seahorse, ran by a Melbourne based crew.

“It still caters to people that want somewhere to continue for a drink, some dancing and a good time past 10pm. We still have the doors open, but won’t be super late like the nightclubs,” he says.

“We are just trying to cater to a different demographic, but if people do still want somewhere to go once the other venues along the street start closing, that there is somewhere they can feel comfortable and go and have a drink, and it’s not just full of 18 year-olds.”

Attempting to break away from that stigma, Jordan says they are taking a different road, opening up their big double doors and catering to the 25 to 35 year-old demographic.

This saw the venue add extra seating, reduce the size of the rooms, acquire a pool table and focus on creating a quieter scene for people who want to catch up, listen to live music and have a couple of drinks with friends.

eureka seats

Along with the live music, comes the long-awaited return of the Eureka Kitchen. With a variety of meat options (think braised beef sliders and BBQ pork ribs), snack foods like hot dogs, fish and chips and buffalo style drummys, and even foods catering to the vegans and vegetarians, all for under $15, the menu boasts simplicity – acting as a cheap alternative to a sit down pub meal.

“It’s perfect if you just want a quick snack and a couple of drinks. The food is quick, easy, simple – get your fingers dirty kind of thing.”
With live music, food and drinks right on Little Malop Street – the hotel has definitely returned to what it was best known for.

“It is all a fairly significant change. But we were at a time where we had to do something to just turn it on its head and just give something a go. It’s the pub everyone already knows.”

Eureka Hotel is located at 96 Little Malop Street, Geelong. Eureka Kitchen open from 4pm till late Thursday – Saturday.

Written by Talia Rinaldo