The Bellarine Brewing Company took over the property, re-opening it in October 2013 and renamed it Angasi Bar & Grill after the local oyster.
The southern mud oyster, also known as the native flat oyster, ‘Ostrea angasi’, is endemic to southern Australia, ranging from Western Australia to southeast New South Wales and around Victoria and Tasmania.
The history of our iconic building:
The first inhabitants of Portarlington and the surrounding district were the aboriginal Wautharong people, who appeared to live on the local mussels for which Portarlington is still famous today.
The area was first significantly explored by westerners in January 1802, but there was no significant settlement until the arrival of pioneer settler John Batman in 1835. The township of Portarlington was formally surveyed around 1850 and was at that time named Drayton. It was renamed Portarlington in 1851. The newly surveyed township was neatly laid out, with broad streets, and planted with English elms and pines.
The front weatherboard section of Angasi Bar & Grill was built in 1855 and the brick building added in 1878. The building was originally known as the Calhoun Family Hotel. Over the years it has had many names and at one stage was known as the Duke of Edinborough Hotel. It ceased operation as a hotel in 1940, but the locals still referred to the building as ‘the duke’.
In the years following, the building was part of the community, being utilised as a hospital, police station, clothing factory and pizza shop. The building became very run down and prior to its renovation in late 2000 was home to approximately 80 resident pigeons.
With such a fabulous building to work with, it was restored with a contemporary edge, while retaining the old world charm with original windows, pressed metal ceilings, wooden staircase, floorboards and timber doors. It was named The Ol’ Duke and the restaurant opened in April 2001. Unfortunately The Ol’ Duke closed down in June 2013, leaving a beautiful building and a hole in the community.