An iconic live music venue in Melbourne is for sale after the owners struggled during the pandemic and now “have no petrol left in the tank” to continue operating.
The Tote in Collingwood, which has operated for four decades, dropped the bombshell news on its social media pages on Wednesday.
“We signed up to save the Tote once, not expecting to have to do it twice!” co-owners Jon Perring and Sam Crupi said.
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“Especially after we lost our business partner to cancer just before the COVID lockdowns started.
“It’s time for someone else to take it on with renewed enthusiasm and vision now COVID is behind us. We feel the timing is right.
“The Tote needs to broaden its business model to remain relevant in the future. We will be looking favourably at proposals that ensure a live music component including buyers who wish to pursue a mixed development of the property centred around the hotel.
“There is plenty of opportunity around the addition of food service to the existing business or by the addition of a brew house.”
The owners said The Tote will continue to trade and host gigs until the new ownership takes over, which is likely to be around June.
The Tote is located on the corner of Wellington and Johnson Sts in Collingwood and was built in 1870 as a hotel.
The hotel then became The Tote in 1981 and started hosting local bands, quickly becoming known for staging punk and hard-core artists.
There have been many notable artists play at the venue including Paul Kelly, Jim White, The White Stripes, Ed Kuepper, Magic Dirt, You Am I and Violent Soho.
In 2010, The Tote closed temporarily and was saved by the Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM) movement.
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