CHERRY POPPED

Herald Sun - - NEWS -

THE times they are a’changin’ for Mel­bourne rock ’n’ roll in­sti­tu­tion Cherry Bar and the Rus­sians are com­ing. The bar on AC/DC Lane isn’t just any bar.

When Oa­sis was tour­ing in 2002, bad boy NOEL GAL­LAGHER was so taken with Cherry Bar he of­fered to buy it, call­ing it the great­est rock ’n’ roll bar in the world.

The Ex­or­cist’s LINDA BLAIR DJ’d from mid­night on Hal­loween.

Porn star RON JEREMY walked in on a Mon­day night only to crash out on the couch and end up in a few staff self­ies. The mus­ta­chioed old dirt bag didn’t have a clue what was go­ing on.

Cherry Bar was Mel­bourne rock ’n’ roll at its best with the likes of

AXL ROSE and the Foo Fighters rolling up af­ter Mel­bourne gigs.

Owner JAMES YOUNG even cam­paigned to have Cor­po­ra­tion Lane, off Flinders Lane, changed to AC/DC Lane.

Suc­cess­fully so. For­mer lord mayor JOHN SO quipped, “As the song says, there is a high­way to hell, but now we have a laneway to heaven. Let us rock.” Pipers played Acca Dacca’s rab­ble rouser It’s a Long Way to the Top.

Cherry Bar’s lease is un­der­stood to have been bought by night­club tsars broth­ers

NICK and DANIEL RUS­SIAN, of Eve night­club fame.

Eve was the club where foot­ballers and pop stars got to­gether and BUDDY

FRANKLIN was ru­moured to have notched up his 100th. It was the club where

BEN COUSINS was ar­rested af­ter be­ing found slumped and shirt­less in the street out­side af­ter a big ol’ ben­der. He sup­pos­edly re­cov­ered suf­fi­ciently to mut­ter to po­lice, “Take me back to Eve.” Such is life.

The night­club also hosted SER­ENA WIL­LIAMS, BRIT­NEY SPEARS and KANYE WEST.

But word is the Rus­sians came to Cherry with an of­fer too good to refuse. There is still some fine tun­ing on the changeover.

Orig­i­nally founded by for­mer Cos­mic Psy­chos drum­mer BILL WALSH in 1999 and now owned by JAMES

YOUNG, LAZY PETE and JIM BOURKE, it quickly be­came the rock mecca dur­ing the noughties and be­yond.

Lines are still to be dot­ted and keys are yet to change hands, with some sell­out sour cherry rum­blings from past owner Walsh, but it’s un­der­stood Young and Co will keep the Cherry Bar name.

So what will be­come of the venue that once saw LADY GAGA do­ing shots off the bar in her fish­nets?

The Rus­sians have been scout­ing for an­other prime Mel­bourne venue since clos­ing the doors on Eve in 2016. They al­most closed the deal on ac­quir­ing the Bou­tique night­club on Gre­ville St af­ter colour­ful owner

DAR­REN “Raz­zle” THORNBURGH died last year.

Cherry Bar looks to be the cherry on top for the Rus­sian Group as a live mu­sic venue. A 5am li­cence helps, with a restau­rant and bar at the 300-ca­pac­ity CBD site mod­elled on swish venues across the US and Eu­rope. But a new fit-out might not come un­til mid next year.

Aussie rock­ers Air­bourne once ref­er­enced the bar in their song Fat

City: “Mid­night bite at the Cherry, so sweet is the juice.”

Sweet it is for some, while for the rock ‘n’ rollers it’s a case of an­other one bites the dust.

ESPY BACK IN BUSI­NESS

ROCK­ERS, mean­while, can find so­lace at St Kilda’s Es­planade Ho­tel once it re­opens this month.

The sticky car­pet might be no more, but The Espy will rock out with the Teskey Broth­ers on No­vem­ber 22, with DAN SUL­TAN and

TEX PERKINS also tipped to un­of­fi­cially chris­ten the joint.

The Espy is open­ing its doors for the first time in 3½ years af­ter Mel­bourne pub group Sand Hill Road de­cided to “lov­ingly re­store” the live mu­sic scene af­ter buy­ing the pub last year for a re­ported $13.2 mil­lion.

NOEL GAL­LAGHER

DANIEL AND NICK RUS­SIAN

JAMES YOUNG

LADY GAGA WITH DJ MER­MAID

THE ES­PLANADE HO­TEL

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