The closure of Melbourne institution Lounge in April after nearly 30 years of operation sent shockwaves through the city’s music scene, but patrons of the beloved space can rejoice in news that the venue will open re-open next month with a new name and under new ownership.
Retaining its 24-hour licence, the venue will reopen as Radar and will be operated by the team behind other popular Melbourne venues Section 8, Ferdydurke, THE B.EAST and more, who have taken over the lease after potential development fell through.
“We will be shooting [to open] next week, but there’s every chance it might be the week after,” venue operator Maz Salt told The Music.
Prior to its relaunch, the space is undergoing some major upgrades, including new sound and lighting systems, an updated bar, furniture and more.
“The angle in terms of music will be to start with predominantly electronic, but as we grow, as we learn about the space, as we learn about the system, we’d like to see it evolve into a much more layered musical experience,” Salt said.
Former owner Carlo Colosimo was forced to close Lounge when he was unable to renew its tenancy.
"I think that one of the disappointing things for me, with the Lounge being forced to close, is that, from what I understand, it's really based on the idea that the landlord wanted more money,” Colosimo told The Music back April.
It is reported that the immediate plans for the space, after Lounge closed, fell through, which is when Salt and his team stepped up.
“I thought, ‘What a great opportunity to continue it.’ The city of Melbourne needs late-night venues of varying shapes, sizes and descriptions.
“We were all pretty sad to see an apartment development was going to kill it, so it was really a no brainer.”
Salt reinforced their position of honouring the legacy established by Lounge while also carving a fresh new path.
“We really respect the space and the work that Carlo Colosimo did over 30 years in the Lounge. He’s an iconic figure in the Melbourne scene and we’re extremely proud and a little bit nervous to be picking up where he left off.”