History of Lambys
Lambys Tavern is located underground in the historic National Wool Exchange Building. The three-story wool store was officially opened on August 1 1872, built of bluestone to a thoughtful and innovative design. The site it was built on, was purchased for £1200. Later additions through until 1930 resulted in three separate buildings behind a single facade. In the 1877-78 season, the company sold 21,000 bales of wool. Its name had been changed to Dennys Lascelles & Co. in 1875 (hence the restaurant name Dennys Kitchen, an Italian restaurant above Lambys Tavern). The Dennys Lascelles wool warehouse was the first building in Victoria planned to facilitate storage, inspection and marketing of wool in one operation and upon completion was the second largest store in the colony. A railway system powered by horse and cart ran through the now Dennys Kitchen all the way to Cunningham Pier where is was shipped all over the world. It is rumoured that the tracks are still there under Brougham Street. Until the late 2000’s wool was still sold through this building.
Sometime in the late 1900’s, Luigy Bazzini, an Italian wine maker and restaurateur, transformed the now Lambys Tavern from a dirt floored warehouse which stored sheep skin into a restaurant for the people from all over the world attending the wool auctions. The restaurant was sold to the EMC Group Geelong in January 2001 who transformed it to what Lambys Tavern is today. It has had a few changes throughout the years but the owners have spent a lot of time making Lambys similar to to an underground version of the TV Show ‘Cheers’ which is where the inspiration came from for the Lambys logo!
In 2019 EMC Group Geelong dissolved, however the Lambys continues to be an iconic and longstanding venue in the Geelong CBD.