Melbourne is filled with beautiful old buildings, but lately many are being demolished to make way for new apartment blocks. Luckily, The George Hotel in St Kilda, built is 1857, is heritage listed and not in any danger of destruction. Taking up residence here on the ground level in mid 2016 is Freddie Wimpoles, a unique bar for the Fitzroy Street precinct, named after the man who used to own the building, and who also happened to love his beer.
Naturally, there are craft brews on the thirteen taps which regularly rotate and match the food, but this place also has an impressive back bar filled with some great whiskies and bourbons, too. The burgers, subs and sandwiches are all popular options, as well as the meat and cheese platters which are great to share; but please make sure you grab the loaded fries topped with ground beef chilli, spicy cheese sauce and pickled jalapeños – they are just too damn tasty to pass up.
With a deer head affectionately known as George watching over the venue and antler chandeliers overhead, Freddie’s is a mix of a warm and cosy hunting lodge and a roadside diner on the side of a US highway. In true St Kilda style there’s no pretension here, just come as you are, have a few games of pool, a couple of pints, chuck some coins in the jukebox and enjoy the warm hospitality offered by Scott McKay and his team. History often repeats itself and on most nights, you’ll find a group of locals sitting up at the bar catching up for a few drinks and a chat about the day’s events, just as they would have done here more than a century ago.