Melanie and Matt Bodiam managed one of Melbourne’s most iconic live music venues, The Arthouse, before opening a new venue in Footscray last year. Mel fills us in about the making of The Reverence Hotel.
Why did you choose Footscray?
We looked everywhere in Melbourne but we fell in love with this pub the first day we saw it. Matt grew up in the west. He’s lived in Footscray before and went to Footscray City high school. He’s always loved this place.
How have you found operating in Footscray so far?
It was scary to move (the couple also live at the hotel), but we’ve found that people are different from where we came from – they are more genuine, down to earth and really welcoming. In the first couple of months neighbours were bringing us lunch and boxes of fruit. We feel like the locals really want us here and it has been so comforting.
What goes on at The Reverence?
We have a large bar, pool table, two band rooms and a beer garden. We host trivia every fortnight and have cheap Tuesdays, with discount drinks and $3 tacos. On Sundays we have free acoustic shows and have just introduced breakfast burritos. Our Mexican menu specialises in vegan food. We source all our food locally, from Footscray Market and Vincent Vegetarian Food store on Barkly Street.
What kind of acts play here?
We host all original bands, local, national and international. Music is mostly rock but we have other genres. We recently hosted American alternative country performer Austin Lucas and the longest running Irish punk band, The Defects. We welcome local bands interested in playing here to get in touch with us.
Why ‘The Reverence’?
We had a competition among friends to come up with a name. One suggested ‘The Reverence’ to represent the respect we have for our patrons, who, we hope, would in turn respect this old building that we love.