Boost for Williamstown treasure

Tavern manager Wendy Pelns and Maurice Boyd. (Joe Mastroianni) 220635_02

Goya Dmytryshchak

A Williamstown treasure, the Pirates Tavern at Seaworks, has scored an $80,000 state government live music venue grant.

The hidden gem, behind Seaworks at 82 Nelson Place, is the clubhouse of the Williamstown Maritime Association.

The not-for-profit association started in 2004 to convert the old Port of Melbourne Authority site into a working maritime precinct: Seaworks.

About this time last year, the tavern had Jamaica’s Red Stripe beer on tap to coincide with the Jamaican Music and Food Festival.

With multiple festivals on hold due to COVID, association president Maurice Boyd said the Pirates Tavern would use the massive outdoor waterfront space to cater for up to 200 people as restrictions eased.

“We’ve got an extended licence out in front of the tavern as part of Seaworks – Seaworks have supported us in doing that so that means we can put the extra people there.

“We’re very definitely are very lucky.

“The businesses in Williamstown can go out and grab a couple of car parks (to use for dining) but that doesn’t give them that extra space that we’ve got that ability to do.

“But of course, we don’t have food there at the moment so they’ve still all got all that aspect – they can fit the people in for food.“

Mr Boyd said the government funding had helped the venue survive.

“We argued that we were the premier music venue in Williamstown because we have over 100 bands a year down there, which nobody else down there has,“ he said.

“Since the Williamstown RSL (former home to the Way Out West Roots Music Club) closed down, the music that was there moved to Newport Bowls Club.

“So, we’re the only ones in Williamstown that have that variety of music and consistency.

“We’re very big on live music – we want to support the live music industry, particularly if we’ve got local bands.“

The tavern has opened up from Friday to Sunday from 1pm for live music.