It’s the end of an era for one of Melbourne’s strongest rock n roll institutions, Cherry Bar, as founder Bill Walsh sells his share in the iconic bar in AC/DC lane.
The deal was finalised on Wednesday, selling his share to co-owners James Young and Pete Lewis, a feat even Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher couldn’t pull off – Gallaghers offer to buy the bar in 2002 was rebuffed by Walsh.
Young issued a statement on social media earlier today confirming the rumour, saying “Cherry Founding Partner Bill Walsh, after some twelve and a half years, sold his share in Cherry Bar to partners James Young and Peter Lewis this Wednesday.”
“We’ll let Billy tell you what he has planned next, but it is very exciting and great news for Melbourne,” he continued. “Pete and I were looking to buy another Bar in Melbourne when we realised that the smarter play was to buy more of the one Bar we already owned, that way we didn’t have to double our workload.”
“We plan to continue to perpetuate the rock n roll legacy created at Cherry by Billy ‘Cosmic Psycho’ Walsh.”
Walsh founded the bar at the beginning of the new millenium in 2000, after cutting his teeth in music as the drummer for iconic Australian punk band The Cosmic Pyschos.
A favourite for many touring musicians and local musicians alike, the bar temporarily closed in 2008 after firefighters attempting to control a fire in the office above caused extensive water damage.
Walsh and his cohorts had originally planned on reopening the venue a fortnight later, but the damage to electrical system delayed the reopening until a full 6 months later.
The bar has also been mentioned in a number of songs written by visitors to the bar, including Airborne in their song ‘Fat City’, and former Melbourne rockers Jet, who reporteddly wrote the smash hit ‘Rollover DJ’ after spending many long nights at the bar.
In recent years the bar has also been hosting the annual Cherry Rock festival, which this year saw the likes of Fu Manchu and Black Cobra grace the stages to a sell out crowd. Walsh’s sale of Cherry Bar also includes the interest he held in the Cherry Rock Festival.
Although it is unclear at this time exactly what Walsh has planned next, he also has a stake in Melbourne rock n roll club Ding Dong Lounge, which coincidently also suffered damage in a fire almost a year ago. Our advice would be to watch this space.