The Duke, Melbourne’s oldest pub

duke-wellington-melbourne-2AN old mate of mine, Pat Adams was in Melbourne today for the tennis and supplied a few images of the city’s oldest pub.

Pat dropped into the Duke of Wellington at the corner of Flinders and Russell Street for a few refreshments and also posted this little ripper of a review. He writes: “Mick, have a go at this little gem. It lost its licence for a few years after the licensee Brian ‘The Whale’ Roberts (Richmond football legend) passed away, and has now reopened.

Pat said he first had a beer in the pub in 1985: “This has always been my favourite pub when I come to Melbourne,” he said.

The Whale was a huge man and loved to drink 7 ounce glasses of beer, Pat recalled. “It looked funny; him with such a small glass in his hand, ya would think it would slip through his fingers. The whole bar area has been gutted, but it now looks better then before. On the down side they have many beers on tap – but no Carlton!”


Pat couldn’t find a gold plaque, which for years was in the main bar. It read, he said: “ON THIS SPOT, on the seventeenth of September in the year 1984 MR VAL PEROVIC player of the Calton football club, drank 37, 375ml cans of Victoria bitter in 2 hours. Witnessed by the hotel patrons, teammates and his very nervous dog”. It was signed by the then licensee.


Categories: Melbourne Hotels, Reviews

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2 replies

  1. What , no Carlton ???? My Dad would be horrified. My Dad , Denver Huckett , was Advertising Manager of CUB for thirty years from 1968 onward , a mad supporter of the Whale in his pubs , and along with Brian , a member of the Melbourne Beer and Beef Club . After many a lunch at other city venues , the members would retire to the Duke for further refreshment . They were thirsty chaps !

  2. The plaque was actually from the Cricket Club Hotel in Clarendon St not the Duke of Wellington it says so on the plaque.

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