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As we stepped into the Espy for our first taste of the new renovations, a flood of memories melted away. Gone were the usual eclectic clientele, the dirty mayhem of mismatched furniture, and stale beer tangs that once upon a time reeked from the floorboards.

It was an evening of brand new memories: glamorous girls in fancy frocks and heels; guys with shiny shoes and gelled back hair; tastefully coordinated furniture; fruity cocktails perfuming the new and improved Espy.


Before we immerse ourselves any further into the unfamiliar and reborn Espy, let’s step back to the front entrance. This wasn't merely cruising up to the front steps on our arrival. The anticipation of our grand entrance was preceded by a 15-minute wait in a rowdy and lengthy queue. Here we were mildly entertained with stories of beastly boyfriends, painful periods and booster bras. I must admit that this scenario set the scene for a few of our expectations. The days of old where being a fifty-year-old patron was the norm fizzled into puzzledom!


Back inside, the constant doof doof of the resident DJ made it difficult to exchange a conversation at a normal volume. Just about everyone was competing to be heard by either hollering words out loud or spraying softly into their companions ear. We found it easier to use some straightforward sign language whilst weaving our way through this merry mass to the closest bar.


Not surprisingly, the old Espy six-dollar house wine was now the new Espy $13 house wine. Understandably, management is on an urgent task to recoup funds spent on this 24-month delayed and lavish refit.

Holding our drinks carefully, we point, shake our heads, and mouth words about our exciting observations. The art deco roof is the same, the central staircase is still present and the enormous beach facing windows are thankfully still intact.


After we had finished our drinks, we unanimously decided to zig-zag our way out through the ever-growing boisterous crowd, until we got to the front entrance where the sea breeze greeted us with cool relief. We strolled to our revered and relaxing local around the corner.


With any luck, the hype will wear off, the local bands will once more rule and we can explore the Espy again. But in the meantime, we are happy to hang out at the Dogs Bar where we can hear each other’s dialogue, comprehend each other's jokes, and buy a top quality chardonnay at the good old Espy eight dollar price.



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