It's back! New Guernica reopens in its new Northside home on Thursday 25 November, bringing its unique brand of drinks and dancing to Smith Street in Collingwood.
We thought we might have lost the Melbourne clubbing institution New Guernica for good.
When the landlord of their original city space gave notice of his intention to demolish the building, owners Steve Costa, Dominic Lococo, Jaff Tzaferis and Kyle Bush began the hunt for a new location. After months of searching, they found the perfect address – a historical venue on the corner of Smith and Langridge Streets with a storied past in Melbourne’s hospitality scene.
Dating from 1868 and previously housing venues including The Last Laugh Comedy Club, A Bar Called Barry’s and, most recently, Foresters Beer and Music Hall, the heritage venue has undergone a transformation into a nightclub space unlike any other in Melbourne, featuring soaring 7 metre ceilings, a balcony high above the dance floor offering punters a birds-eye view and a world-class lighting and sound system.
What you need to know
- New Guernica is now at 64 Smith Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
- Opening on Thursday 25 November 2021
- Open Thursday 9pm-4am, Friday 9pm-4am, Saturday 9pm-4am
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Co-owner Kyle Bush, who designed the original club along with bars Chuckle Park (Melbourne), Joey Smalls (Brunswick) and Hains & Co (Adelaide), was tasked with bringing elements of the original New Guernica into the new space and with creating the club’s famous atmosphere.
Warm orange lighting accents the brass-topped bar, which has been repainted in a deep shade of ultramarine – a colour palette reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. A giant golden clamshell, dating from the 1920s, gazes over the cavernous space. The centrepiece of the dance floor is the DJ booth – New Guernica’s faithful battered organ, reimagined for a new era.
Bush brought over other key elements from the original club, including castle-inspired antique lighting fixtures, vintage wooden panels that have been upcycled to create the DJ booth and the venue’s trusty disco ball.
“In this new space, we all saw an opportunity to evolve New Guernica. From the scale of the space to the sound, lighting and vibe, we’ve leveled up on all counts,” says Bush.
A giant truss hangs over the dance floor with custom lighting designed by On Track Lighting utilising ShowTech products. The bespoke sound system, featuring Nexo Alpha and Void speakers, is a level up from the previous sound system and one of the most exciting features of the new venue.
The new venue will play host to some of Australia’s most established electronic artists alongside newer talent. Thursday nights will continue as Guerns, the club’s 12-year running weekly rave, with drink specials including $3.50 pots of Guerns Ale and Moon Dog Fizzer Seltzers. Friday parties will be run by event organisers including Novel, The Operatives and Thick As Thieves and the Eat The Beat crew will continue to host Saturdays. With artists including In2stella, DJ Jnett, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Post Percy and Toni Yozi already confirmed for summer, the owners also hope to welcome back international touring acts in the new year.
They’re running a sign-up competition to be the first to dance in the space and win a chance to enjoy free drinks, including Guerns Ale and Moon Dog Fizzer Seltzer, on opening night between 9pm and 11pm.
Alongside club nights, the venue will also be open for daytime drinks and day parties. Future plans include a relaunch of the authentic upstairs band room; its walls plastered with posters from gigs gone by, it will soon host local bands once more.
“We can’t wait to welcome Melbourne to our new home and to bring back the parties we’ve become known for, as well as to launch our new events,” said Bush. “It’s been a long, difficult 18 months, but the future is bright at New Guernica once more!”
Excited partiers can sign up at https://www.newguernica.com/