Two beloved pubs have been forced to permanently close amid Melbourne’s second draconian lockdown.
The Morning Star in Williamstown, south west Melbourne, and the Mona Castle in Seddon, west Melbourne, both shut their doors for good this week.
Businesses have struggled to stay afloat after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hit the city with severe restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Two beloved Melbourne pubs, The Morning Star Hotel (pictured) in Williamstown and the Mona Castle Hotel in Seddon, have been forced to close amid the draconian second lockdown
The Mona Castle (pictured) owner was forced to close the pub after not being able to pay the rent. He criticised the Victorian Government for neglecting small businesses during COVID-19
Mona Castle owner Gary Clough handed over the keys to the historic pub, which is more than 140-years old, on Friday after more than 15 years with the business.
‘We had a glimmer of hope there about two and a half months ago and then the landlord was wanting full rent,’ he told 3AW.
Mr Clough made the tough decision to shut the venue after his landlord refused to offer a rent reduction during the pandemic.
‘It got to the stage where we had to go into negotiations with the Small Business Commission,’ the owner explained.
Mr Clough criticised the Victorian Government for failing to support small businesses during lockdown.
‘They government don’t work in small businesses, they don’t understand the amount of people employed and the amount of tax we pay,’ he said.
Mr Clough said he would continue with his old job as an electrician and ‘keep moving forward’ with the support of his friends.
Small businesses have struggled through Melbourne’s tough stage 4 coronavirus lockdown where all non-essential businesses were shut (Melbourne CBD pictured on Thursday)
He explained the owner of the Morning Star Hotel, Darren Dean, was also forced to close because of landlords putting up the rent.
The popular hotel announced it would not be reopening its doors in a Facebook post on Monday.
‘Wanted to say thank you to each and everyone of you for making the experience of living in and owning a pub an enjoyable one.
‘It is with heavy hearts that we advise that we will not be reopening the Morning Star post this lockdown, the financial impact is simply too great.
‘We thank the patrons, staff and local community with all of our hearts,’ the statement read.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a roadmap out of the harsh restrictions on Sunday (Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD pictured on Sunday)
Premier Daniel Andrews sent Melburnians into strict stage four lockdown that saw all non-essential businesses closed and residents confined to their homes.
Melburnians may only leave to exercise within a 5km radius of their homes for one hour per day, provide or receive care, buy supplies and conduct essential work.
They must also wear a mask and adhere to a curfew between 8pm and 5am.
Mr Andrews’ roadmap out of lockdown was released on Sunday and showed a four-step plan to ease the restrictions.
The first round of eased restrictions will come into effect on Sunday and extend the curfew to 9pm and allow restaurants to open for take-away and delivery.
Public gatherings of two people outdoors will also be allowed for two hours.
Victoria recorded 55 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths on Tuesday.
Melburnians have only been allowed to leave home for one of four essential reasons including exercise, providing or receiving care, food shopping and essential work