Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel has officially changed hands, with a new owner confirmed by the venue over the weekend.
In a statement on the Gaso’s Facebook page, previous owners Clint Fisher and Shan Vanderwert confirmed the sale to James Martelletti. Fisher and Vanderwert had taken the reins in 2014 after previously working with Brunswick’s Retreat Hotel and Coburg’s Post Office Hotel, respectively.
“After seven amazing years, it’s now time for the two of us to spend time with family and explore new avenues,” the pair said.
“It’s been an incredible ride – we’d like to thank all the bands, musicians, artists, crew, staff, suppliers, punters and friends for being part of the Gasometer family.
“We wish James all the very best. We know the Gaso is in excellent hands and the tradition of live music will continue.”
Statement from Shan and Clint:We’d like to welcome and congratulate James Martelletti and his team on taking over The…
Martelletti, who has a background in business and tech, tells NME the decision to take over the business was a “mixture of well-timed opportunities”, following the closure of his favourite venue Bombay Rock in 2019. While he is the sole director of the company, former Bombay Rock managers Kacey Knoodle and Asher Trainor have joined as shareholders and business partners.
“When that particular venue closed, the managers, their staff and a horde of loyal patrons had nowhere to call home and were left wanting more. Having formed a friendship with former managers Kacey Knoodle and Asher Trainor, and with their extensive experience in cultivating thriving and inclusive live music venues, it was a no-brainer to approach them with the potential opportunity,” Martelletti explains.
Martelletti says his aims for the Gaso is to build on its existing reputation for sound quality and diverse programming, “but with more of an emphasis on punk, metal and rock shows”.
“All musicians ourselves, The Gaso is set to be a place where bands want to play and punters want to hang out. Vibrant music scenes don’t happen without the hard work and dedication of the communities around them, which we intend to play our role in,” he says.
The venue’s leasehold was first listed back in April last year, with sellers looking for offers “in the region of $350,000” which was a “heavy discount to what the venue is actually worth”. Multiple parties were reportedly interested in the sale at the time. Vanderwert also clarified to NME the sale was not related to the pandemic.
“My business partner and I have worked hard to support Melbourne’s vibrant live music scene however more recently our focus has increasingly been on following separate career paths and we have decided to end our partnership and go our separate ways,” Vanderwert said last year.
“It’s been great to see there is strong interest in the venue.”