Geelong’s home of the blues to close its doors

May 28, 2024 BY

Despite its cult following and status as one of Geelong’s premier live music venues, the rising cost of living has forced Pistol Pete’s owners to make some tough decisions. Photo: INSTAGRAM/NATHAN SEECKTS

ONE of Geelong’s premier live music venues is closing its doors, citing tough economic conditions.

After 10 years of bringing both the sounds and tastes of the South to the region, Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues on Little Malop Street will turn off its iconic neon sign on June 30.

Since it opened in 2014, the establishment has built a cult following for its menu filled with Southern American comfort food classics such as fried chicken, gumbo and jambalaya, and its live music offering spanning blues to jazz, Americana to country.

Pete Raimondo, who owns the venue with his wife Kerri, last week took to social media to announce the shock closure, stating the couple had made the decision not to renew their lease.

The couple said the decision to close had been a “very difficult and confronting” one to make.

“The struggle to maintain the business’s viability has been ongoing for quite a while and we have tried our best to work through the many challenges that have landed on our doorstep.

Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues will close its doors and turn off its iconic neon sign on June 30. Photo: INSTAGRAM/VP & THE JUMPER LEADS

“As we are seeing all too often lately, many food and music venues are closing due to economic circumstances and changes in the way people choose to socialise and entertain themselves.”

The couple said the rising cost of insurance, staffing and utilities, along with a decrease in customers and the amount they spend, had forced their hand.

The couple said although the upcoming closure marked a “very sad occasion”, they want the venue’s remaining weeks to be “a celebration of what has been achieved, the friends made and the good

times had”.

“We will continue to bring you the great food and great music that we have become known for,”

they said.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff, both past and present for the integral part they have played in making Pistol Pete’s what it is today.

“To everyone who has stepped through the doors at 93 Lt Malop St, we appreciate and thank you for your patronage and support in turning a dream into reality.”

According to APRA AMCOS, a music copyright management organisation that represents more than 100,000 creatives, almost a quarter of Victoria’s live music venues have closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the small to medium venue scene continues to struggle.

The closure of Pistol Pete’s follows that of several local live music venues including The Workers Club Geelong and Portarlington-based venue Saints and Sinners earlier this year in March.

The venue has become known for its Southern American-inspired menu filled with classic comfort food favourites such as fried chicken, gumbo, jambalaya and waffles. Photo: SUPPLIED