Will Witches in Britches bewitch a buyer before Halloween?
The medieval-inspired building sits on a highly valuable corner landholding.

Will Witches in Britches bewitch a buyer before Halloween?

Hold on to your broomsticks, and gaze into the crystal ball. Will the home of kitsch theatre restaurant Witches in Britches bewitch a buyer?

The iconic venue on the Melbourne city fringe has been listed for sale just ahead of Halloween, and has attracted more than 100 inquiries in 10 days.

The business has operated out of the medieval-themed castle on the corner of King and Dudley streets for more than 30 years, billing itself as Melbourne’s “most wicked night out”.

With three street frontages, located less than 500 metres from Flagstaff Station and the Queen Victoria Market, the listing is sure to generate a buzz (or a cackle) among investors, land bankers and developers – particularly given its mixed-use zoning paves the way for future redevelopment.

JLL and CVA Property Consultants have been appointed to sell the freehold via an expressions of interest campaign due to wrap up on October 26.

CVA’s Ian Angelico said he expected the property to sell for more than $6 million. 

“There have been a mix of buyers ranging from investors, to developers seeking to see out the lease … and also some potential owner-occupiers looking to reposition the asset for the future use,” he said.

The vendors are a private family who bought the property more than 30 years ago, Angelico said.

  • Related: ‘Melbourne’s heart and soul’: Famed music venue The Espy up for sale

“They have a long history spanning over 40 years operating theatre restaurants including Nero’s Fiddle amongst others before establishing the renowned Witches in Britches theatre restaurant.”

Angelico said the current tenants had taken over the business about 20 years ago.

Holding a 1am liquor licence, the venue can seat 110 patrons in the bar and up to 240 diners in the theatre restaurant.

Witches in Britches bills itself as Melbourne's 'most wicked night out'. Photo: Shannon Morris

The current lease, returning $245,203 in rent a year, expires in January 2024, with a further option of five years.

In the Melbourne CBD, the number of spooky and sinister-themed musical theatre venues has dwindled in recent years. In 2017, the team behind cabaret theatre restaurant Dracula’s announced they were closing down after 37 years in business. The Carlton building was later sold for $10.3 million and reopened in 2019 as popular Chinese eatery Panda Hot Pot.