Customs House Hotel

Enjoy getting up on stage with your mates for a good old karaoke session? Well, go down to the Customs House Hotel in Williamstown on a Saturday night to get all your singing urges out of your system.

The Customs House Hotel is a lively place full of all sorts of people, ranging from people aged anywhere between 18 right through to their 50s, and the dress code is not strict as there were guys in tees, denim shorts, and caps, and also girls wearing fancy dresses that might only be a notch or two below what you would see girls wear at Spring Carnival.Everyone seemed to be chatting away about one thing or another over drinks, making the place a lively and social one, the type of place where you could go up to some randoms and start chatting with them and assimilate with all the hoopla going on around you. Even the bouncers are approachable and will greet you as you enter or leave. Alternatively, if you want some more room to move around in, you could have your drinks outside at one of the outdoor tables, but then you would miss out on what is going on inside. There are also three function rooms to choose from if you choose to have a private party here too.

The karaoke is the main attraction of Customs House on a Saturday night. The stage is very small and in a tight corner, but will not stop your mates signing you up to sing a daggy song or two so they can hear your drunken attempt at crooning. Many of the songs played were pop and rock songs from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, such as ‘Proud Mary’ by Creedance Clearwater Revival, ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper, ‘Hurts So Good’ by John Cougar Mellencamp, and ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler. The crowd really gets involved in the karaoke and would sing along and cheer on the wannabe singer, making proceedings that much more fun.

The grog here is cheap and varied, from your average beer like Carlton Draught, to the fancier beers like Heineken, to assorted wines for the ladies, as well as various nibblies like peanuts and Smiths Original Chips and Burger Rings to choose from if you get peckish. The venue itself is very nice and has a great view of Port Phillip Bay, recognising the area’s shipping activities, hence “Customs House”. Even the venue’s logo is of a merchant ship from the 1800s, and there is a picture of this type of ship on the glass above the main entrance as well. History aside, you may not leave the Customs House Hotel with people thinking you are the next pop sensation, but you will have a good time belting out all those tunes nonetheless, or at the very least have a good catch up session with your friends.

Originally published here at on Tuesday 25 January 2011

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