Madame Brussels: What to expect under new ownership at iconic bar

Madame Brussels reopening

Iconic Melbourne bar Madame Brussels has sold to Tom Rattigan, Joshua Stevens and Gemma Stevens. They’ll reopen in the next two weeks. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

Cocktails and sangria will be back flowing at Madame Brussels in the next two weeks, with the iconic bar’s new owners ready to “party like it’s 2019”.

Seasoned hospitality players Tom Rattigan, Joshua and Gemma Stevens are gearing up to re-open the Bourke St rooftop favourite after snapping up the site’s leasehold.

“We’re all just so excited to welcome everyone back,” Mr Rattigan said.

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Hot Madame summer.

“It kind of feels like Christmas is coming early this year. There’s a real buzz walking around the CBD, which I haven’t felt in so long.

“Melbourne’s hospitality scene right now is like a coiled up spring ready to explode”.

Mr Rattigan, who also runs Double Happiness, Lily Blacks and New Gold Mountain, said his team was as excited as Melburnians refreshing booking portals to swing open their doors.

“As Prince famously said, ‘we’re going to party like it’s 1999’.

The venue will reopen after a tidy up.

Pull up a seat.

“Well I think it needs a slight edit, because all we want to do is party like it’s 2019.

“With the world’s longest lockdown, I hope comes the world’s longest party.

“Melbourne, you know what to do”.

Madame Brussels was launched by Paula Scholes (who goes by Miss Pearls), Michael Anderson and Vernon Chalker (who died last year) 16 years ago.

Liquor Licenses

Hostess Miss Pearls at Madame Brussels. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

It was thought to be a Covid casualty in July when its closure was announced.

Mr Rattigan said Melburnians could expect the same amazing hospitality experience, which they would continue and expand on following a tidy up of the venue.

The popular sangria will remain, with a few new cocktails additions weaving in some of the area’s history, including a drink named after the Victorian parliamentary mace that disappeared and was rumoured to be at the brothel of Caroline Hodgson, aka Madame Brussels, in 1892.

Snackier menu items, such as cheese boards, pates, cured meats and terrines, and house-made crisps served with Bloody Shiraz Gin caviar and creme fraiche can be expected.

Follow the Madame Brussels Instagram page for updates and booking information.

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