Temperance Hotel is located on Chapel Street, bang in between South Yarra and Prahran stations. It’s a popular late-night spot on weekends, while daily food and drinks specials attract a loyal patronage throughout the week.
The pub’s friendly spirit is what venue manager Dylan Hewlett holds most dear. Hewlett joined Temperance 12 months ago, and while he’s tweaked a few details, his primary job has been preserving the existing reputation.
“I was looking at making a few changes in terms of the music offering, as well as happy hours,” he says. “[But] there’s certain aspects that I’ve maintained, especially the food quality and the overall values that Temperance was known for.”
The pub is known as a home away from home, somewhere you can go for lunch or dinner, knock-off drinks or a late-night dance.
“We have a very strong regular clientele, which are in a very good portion of the week, consecutively – whether it’s a catch up with friends or date night,” says Hewlett. “We’ve got quite a few people that had their first date here and got married many years later. We still wanted to hold true to those values.”
The Temperance is as much a foodie destination as it is a hallowed drinking hole. It’s akin to a gastro pub, but not as minimalistic in terms of the portion sizes and the produce used.
“It’s not just standard pub fare,” says Hewlett. “It’s a good in-between where you can get good quality steak, or if you just want a parma and pint, you can get that as well.”
The weekday $15 lunch menu includes a wagyu burger and fries, fish and chips, chicken parma with slaw and fries, and a Caesar salad with fried anchovies and bacon. Dinner mains include pan-fried duck breast, nokedli pasta with mushrooms and goats cheese, and a beef and red wine pie.
“Monday and Tuesday are steak day,” says Hewlett. “It’s an $18 steak, which is 250 grams. It comes with a garden salad and chips and a choice of sauce and a complimentary drink. Then Wednesdays is a parma and chips and salad. That’s $18 as well, with a complimentary drink.”
Every Thursday and Friday from 5pm they offer $1 wings along with a range of booze specials. “To coincide with our happy hours, we just wanted something tasty but small and shareable between friends,” Hewlett says.
The Temperance is fully acquainted with the Friday feeling and offers significant discounts on vodka, gin, bourbon and scotch, plus Carlton Draught, Mountain Goat Steam Ale and Somersby cider all night.
“Starting at four o’clock, everything’s $4 and then it goes up a dollar every hour,” Hewlett says. “Then from 10pm until midnight they’re $8.”
There’s live music every Thursday and Sunday. The Thursday night live music coincides with a range of $10 cocktails on offer from 5pm.
“With our clientele that come in on Thursdays, it’s more date night than anything,” says Hewlett. “So we’ve got an R&B/acoustic soul duo that are in for about three hours from 6pm to provide that atmosphere with the demographic that we get in.”
DJs take over on Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm until 3am.
“On Saturdays we’ll have around 500 people in the venue at any one time, which provides a very uplifting atmosphere,” says Hewlett. “You’re looking at 18 to early 30s. The crowd’s very mixed and diverse.”
On Friday November 1, the Temperance will be hosting a Day of the Dead party.
“We’re going to have live face painters. We’re going to have some tattoo artists who’ll be doing tattoos for charity on the night, like flash tattoos.”
A few days later they’ll have their annual Melbourne Cup Eve party with DJs spinning nu-disco, house and R&B until 3am.
“Then we’ve got a Melbourne Cup lunch on, which is a two-course set menu, $60 per person. We’ll hire a few screens and make it something special.”
Find Temperance Hotel at 426 Chapel St, South Yarra. For the full menu and events, head to temperancehotel.com.au.