Victoria’s oldest ethnic club seeks major transformation.


As Victoria’s oldest ethnic club, Club Tivoli has known many periods of change and transformation. With its first president formally inducted in 1860, the now 162-year-old Club has known everything from a youthful General Sir John Monash socialising with members, to countless celebrations of other migrant cultures – including Greek nights, Italian nights and salsa dancing, to mention but a few – and to now hosting same-sex union festivities. Always a home to Victorians who identified with their Germanic heritage, hearty meals and beverages with a distinctly Deutsch flavour have formed the centrepiece around which the vibrant membership and their guests kept their language skills and Old World culture alive. Almost needless to add, there is no single better place in the State to enjoy the annual Oktoberfest.

Club Tivoli is now in the process of embracing its single largest and most significant transformation. The new development team of a Greek-Australian (Anthony) his relative, Richard (of German Indian heritage) the current Club president, Dieter, and the Club manager, Tanya (both of German origin), not only represent the true ethnic diversity of the Tivoli but have ambitious plans afoot to entirely refresh the Club’s identity. Currently an ageing 2-2 1/2 story complex, the new design will not only see the Club rooms completely rebuilt to be replete with state-of-the-art facilities with a further three layers of carparks placed directly below, but several floors of boutique apartments will crest the proposed redevelopment. The jewel in the crown will be a luxury restaurant – always open to every Victorian – sitting atop these apartment floors, with its location perfectly situated for diners to drink in the views of the CBD skyline, the Port of Melbourne and on a clear day or night, The Dandenongs.

This bold vision of a living (and fine dining) residential community wrapped around this venerable Club is the brainchild of the multi-ethnic development team and has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Tivoli’s expansive membership. Of course, with a vision this grand, there will be many hurdles to overcome (and many headaches to cure) but this stunning redevelopment concept will not only ensure that this storied, historic Club endures for many more decades to come, but may well prove to be a blueprint for keeping similar clubs alive throughout Victoria and beyond.

While this vision comes to life, the pre-existing Club will continue to celebrate all aspects of European culture (and beyond) – the evening of December the 10th will see a Hellenic night where Greek food, music and dance are showcased. Melbourne’s authentic Greek band, ‘UNick’, will provide the musical atmosphere; while Greek chef, Anthony Abazis (and his all-Greek kitchen staff), will create a sumptuous feast of classic tasting dishes to fuel the dancing.

Artists Impression 01

Artist’s impression of the new Tivoli Club.

Feature Pic – The Tivoli Club’s re-development team: Club President – Dieter Schwab; Development Manager – Richard Altreith; Hospitality Manager & Chef – Anthony Abazis: Club Manager – Tanya Kabisch.

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