Unlike other Australian cities, visitors to Melbourne were destined to hear at some point, the Victorian capital really “has” a CBD, not just a place where workers dutifully converge for eight hours before vanishing to a more a pleasant area as soon as the clock strikes five.
And, any fair-minded observer would have to concede, proud Melburnians had been spot-on when they said it – Melbourne’s CBD was definitely better, on almost any measure, than the six other Australian capitals.
It’s why the CBD’s restoration to a semblance of its former self, thick crowds circulating through narrow laneways, pubs a packed blur of various football scarfs, or tourists with bags of expensive new clothes, has become such a focus for politicians and the media, even to the extent where the state opposition has introduced a shadow portfolio for ‘CBD Renewal.’
And to many Melburnians the city’s renewal is a given – after all, wasn’t it voted the world’s most liveable city seven years in a row?
But here’s where they might be wrong, or at the very least, taking the rebirth of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ as a granted.
It’s taken its time, but the past few months have at last seen life and activity return to Melbourne – waves of people exiting Flinders Street Station and packed trams.
But for one well-known hospitality venue, Bar Americano, they had remained the last business standing in what was once one of the city’s most celebrated…