Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

#top

The Flower

190 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Location

"Eastern" side, midway between Graham and Liardet Streets.

Bay Street is a little unusual in the Melbourne topology in that is one of the few inner major streets that does not run directly north-south or east-west. "East" could equally be "south" - for our purposes, read "left hand side as you head for the beach".

Memories

I remember one lunch around a month after I left C.D.A; about 30 people in a courtyard at the rear (accessed from Kyme Place).  From forgettory, you bought your steak, snags, or whatever over the bar and BBQ'd them yourself.  

I think it was the first time we tried the venue, and if the cobwebs are aligned correctly, it may have been Dennis Dacey's farewell lunch when he and Peggie Stewart headed overseas.  Or maybe "Dick" just organised it.

Again, any feedback as to whether it became a regular spot would be appreciated. If it didn't, it should have after a very relaxed afternoon (Helps if yu are not working), although accessibility may have been a problem!

History

Somewhat unique in the list of hotels in our archives in that the Flower didn't occupy a corner location.

The site was first listed on 1874 as the George Hotel, in fact one of the later hotels to be established in what was then Sandridge.

It remained as the George until around 1898, when the name changed inexplicably to the Moonee Valley Hotel.  

In 1930, the name changed again to the Flower, but the original building closed in 1965 and appears to have been unoccupied until 1969, when the later Flower appeared with windows opening onto Bay Street.

Today

Of all the major thoroughfares close to central Melbourne, Bay Street on the "east" side is perhaps the most changed, yet on the "west", it remains pretty much the same facade as for fifty or more years.

Sadly, the Flower closed around March, 2006, by which time it had been totally modernised inside and functioned primarily as a restaurant with a bar attached rather the other way round .  The upper floor is still recognisable as the cream/beige facade and is now four apartments accessed by a narrow entrance on the city side.

The street level is now two large shops (one a Video Ezy store)  with no trace of the original function.

Maybe it was because it didn't attract the attention of a corner hotel, but there are no surviving images of the early Flower Hotel.



(top) the Flower, circa 2000 (bottom) 2015 after conversion to retail. Although not clear in the reduced image, "The Flower Hotel" is still visible above the centre window.