Stage one of the ongoing renovations at St Kilda hotel The Greyhound are finishing, with the second phase about to start.

Punters who attend the long-running gay favourite Classic Saturday Night will have noticed the formerly grungy venue getting a swanky makeover.

-œWe’ve pulled out the kitchen and widened the area a little bit, venue manager Sally Dempster said, -œand we’ve been able to put in two large urinals, because we’ve always had a very small bathroom -” you’d spend half the night queuing. Now there’s never a queue for the bathrooms, everyone can spend more time on the dance floor.

Dempster said the reaction from punters so far had been positive, despite the upheaval of the renovation process.
-œWe’re chuffed to be able to give everyone a bit more room, some comfier seating and all those things the punters deserve. Most people are excited, although I have had a few people tell me they’re scared we might lose the atmosphere, she said.
-œI keep explaining you can do anything to a venue, but at the end of the day, it’s about the people. We’ve got people who’ve been coming on a Saturday night for 13-14 years, we’ve got some wonderful characters.
With the front bar and an upstairs cocktail bar re-opening this weekend, Dempster said there were more improvements to come.
-œIn about six months time, we’ll have to attack the roof in our entertainment room [home to the Classic Saturday Night]. We’ll be raising the stage and putting in new dressing rooms backstage, so we’ll have to move the Classic Saturday Night next door into the other room and hold it over two levels, for about six weeks there, she said.
-œWe’re excited about that, because it’ll be something a little bit different for a few weeks -” but that’s still a while off.

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