When the original owners of the Munster Arms arrived from Melbourne in the 1850s they must have longed for the huge province in the south of Ireland they had migrated from, to name the pub after their homeland.
New proprietor of the historic hotel Shaun Vinke says he wants to explore that Irish heritage when he reopens the Munster Arms next week. The hotel has stood on the corner of Humffray and Victoria streets since 1862, when Jeremiah Shelly (or Skilling) had the licence.
In recent times it’s had a few different names, but Mr Vinke says he hopes to return the hotel to a traditional base with a wide selection of beers and solid food choices. He’s in the final stages of a major renovation, relocating and altering the bar and building a new dining space.
“We’re renovating an old-style Irish bar,” Mr Vinke says, “and we’re going to back to heritage colours; the floor is beautiful. It’s a fabulous building.”
Shaun Vinke is a veteran of the hospitality business. He’s the owner of Victorian Mobile Bar Services, having started his career as a kitchenhand, graduating to running the bar at The George Hotel in recent times.
He says it’s a good time to be in the Munster Arms and Ballarat generally. The Munster Arms reopens on Friday October 12. Traditional folk band Old Melbourne Road will play at the hotel on Sunday October 14.
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