Goodbye to Melbourne's Iconic Market Hotel

June 25, 2011 by  

Market Hotel, the iconic full time gay club in Melbourne, closed down forever on the last weekend in May. The Market went out with a bang, though, to celebrate its 12 years of being the city's leading gay party venue.

The tickets to the closing Market celebration were sold out weeks in advance. According to the venue management, the club was at its maximum capacity of 950 persons during that night. The Market's sendoff contained one last, extravagant 3am performance produced by the renowned Zowie Knox. It was a huge show featuring Melbourne's most elite dancers and drag performers.

Same Same, the Australian gay and lesbian lifestyle website, created a postcard tribute on their Facebook page, featuring photographs from the Market's storied parties through the years. Same Same also encouraged some of the major celebrities that have performed or had made a guest appearance at the Market to share some of their fond memories and say a final farewell on the Facebook page.

Same Same's commemorative efforts, like their special postcard printing and celebrity tributes, to memorialise the Market Hotel are worthwhile because the club's new owners have no intention of carrying on its unique traditions. The Market Hotel in South Yarra has been purchased by a group that consists of former North Melbourne stars Leigh Colbert and Glenn Archer, along with two of their Singaporean friends who are supplying the majority of the funding.

The buyers plan to open a new nightclub on the site, but it will feature a very different atmosphere. Rather than an eclectic and eccentric gay venue, it will instead be a high-class, ultra lounge-style club that will appeal to wealthy socialites. The new owners claim it will be gay friendly, but definitely not the gay party central that was the Market Hotel.