Bennetts Lane Jazz Club has found a new home in Flinders Lane.
Melbourne councillors on July 5 approved plans to convert the old Monsoons nightclub behind the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Entertainment entrepreneur David Marriner made the application for planning permission to create the new venue for 320 patrons and operate until 3am on most days.
Council officers supported the application saying: “The built form will sit comfortably against the background of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and will turn a currently unattractive ‘back of house’ into an attractive, friendly and active frontage to Flinders Lane.”
“The proposed nightclub use, operating until 3 am is considered appropriate in this location, having regard to factors including the following: the established good ’track record’ of the management of the Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, which will manage the proposed nightclub; the fact that adjoining land uses are non-residential, the provision of an on-site (non-licensed) area for smokers; a favourable acoustic report and modest patron numbers.”
Long-term manager, Megg Evans said in support of the application: “I’ve been with the club for over 23 years, watching it grow, watching the scene grow, and helping shape the live music scene.”
“Live jazz venues, contrary to some dreams, are not money-makers – they’re social cohesion, culture and art makers.”
Councillors were only too pleased to support the application.
Cr Rohan Leppert said: “It’s always a delight to help contribute to the opening of a new live music venue right in the heart of the city.
It think its fair to say that a jazz club with the history of Bennetts Lane is suitable for an extended licence post 1am.”
Cr Arron Wood said: “Live music is what makes Melbourne great.” And Cr Beverley Pinder-Mortimer said: “Bring back Bennetts Lane.”