All Hands on Deck

The Deck Mercantile Place:

cnr of Flinders and King Streets, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9629 1350 or

The Deck Mercantile Place is a unique rooftop offering, perched on the redeveloped Waterside Hotel. The views take in the Rialto, Yarra activity, Crown fireballs as well as a healthy dose of gritty urban architectural ‘armpits’. Thanks to the Eureka Tower, the Rialto’s status may be relegated to ‘second tallest building in Melbourne’, but it remains a formidable presence when you’re camped underneath it. Come Winter, the views largely make way for shelter from Melbourne’s weather. During the months of May through August The Deck is donning a silk-lined marquee, replete with mosaic-lined tables, Persian rugs, woven furniture, Moroccan menu additions and the odd hookah (giant middle eastern bong for those unfamiliar)… for display purposes only. The Moroccan pieces have been hired in and it’s an experiment that seems to be working. The idea being, the Winter Deck will be themed differently next year for variety’s sake.The Waterside was purchased mid 2004 by the current consortium, including General Manager Stuart Wigney, and a cadre of AFL footballers including blond Saints bombshell Nick Riewoldt. The inspiration for The Deck occurred when Stuart and some of his compadres were up on the original (pitched) roof taking in the New Year’s fireworks. After discussions with architects, Interlandi Mantesso, they flattened the roof and created an open-air venue unto itself.The Deck has its own access from street level — Mercantile Place, in fact. The ascent is not a stair climb for the faint hearted — those with dicky hearts and expecting mums will probably need to find another route —but those who make the effort are definitely ready for a reviving brew.Over the warmer months The Deck has been hugely popular, so much so that the sound system had to be beefed up. The original slim-line setup had urban noise limits in mind, but it transpired that the ambient sound of passing trains and the punters themselves ensured a larger JBL rig was required. Architectural AV took care of the job. The Deck is triumph. It not only utilises fallow space but it has encouraged a whole new crowd to the Waterside Hotel.

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