One of Melbourne's fabulous old inner city venues has a new lease on life, as the Brunswick Ballroom staged its Opening Gala this month.
The venue's rich history dates back to the 1960s.
Once a hat factory, nightclub, wedding reception centre, French restaurant and most recently music venue The Spotted Mallard, it has been reimagined and refurbished.
The new venue offers great food and wine together with the best of Australian and international music, cabaret and comedy acts.
The upstairs ballroom, accessed via a dramatic staircase, features stunning stained glass domes inspired by Australian artist Leonard French, before expanding out onto an open-air balcony that takes in the urban streetscape below and the Melbourne skyline.
Key players behind the project are impresario Andrew Kay, with actor and musician Will Ewing taking on the role of venue director.
"After a year of doom, gloom and significant hardship for many in our live performance industry, we are thrilled to have been able to create a dynamic new home for our performing artists and audiences to enjoy," Mr Kay said.
"Whether it's a live band, a comedian, a classical pianist or a major cabaret star, they will all find a new home here."
Mr Kay said The Brunswick Ballroom, seating up to 290 people, combines the best of London's legendary Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and New York City institution Joe's Pub with Melbourne's own 1990s icon The Continental Cafe, bringing style back to the city's music scene.
Artists appearing during the first month include Aussie music legends Kate Ceberano, Tim Rogers, Ross Wilson and David Helfgott.
The venue will also host acts as part of the Brunswick Music Festival from March 5-14.
The Brunswick Ballroom is at 314-316 Sydney Road, in the heart of the southern hemisphere's longest retail shopping strip.
- Tickets and show details, brunswickballroom.com.au