Amongst the doom and gloom that has hung over live music venues in Melbourne comes at least some good news that the owners and operators of the Old Bar have purchased a pub in regional Victoria and plan on turning it into a full-time live music venue.

Liam Matthews, Singa Unlayiti and Joel Morrison announced to Mess+Noise yesterday that they had acquired the the freehold for the Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine, about 120 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.

In March next year the venue will reopen with former managers from The Northcote Social Club and The Old Bar taking the helm. They plan on beginning to host gigs sometime after that.

“Live music is an integral part of our plan for The Bridge Hotel, but realistically it’s going to take a bit of time for us to get that up and running,” new manager Brendan Noonan said in an interview.

“The pubs we’ve been involved in past in the have been music venues. That’s what we know and love so it’s definitely going to be part of The Bridge. We also plan to serve up some great food and hope build on what is a great local pub.”

The news comes amongst a dark cloud overshadowing live music venues in Melbourne, with the East Brunswick Club confirming recently that it will shut down in March, and the Prince Bandroom being sold to a group known for transforming venues into upmarket dinner locations.