Long-time regulars at Prahran's Station Hotel will recall being confronted by a V/Line train emerging from the house next door.
The engine ploughing through the wall set a wild tone for the pub during its music and drinking heyday in the 1980s when bands performed there.
Now the V/Line engine is set to be engraved on the facade of a new $20 million mixed-use development to be built around the pub over the next 18 months.
The six-storey development will incorporate the heritage-listed pub, which ran for 108 years before being closed earlier this year.
The Station's conversion to apartments follows the demise of the South Yarra drinking and dining institution the Argo Hotel. It was sold late last year with a permit for a three-level, 39-unit development.
The Station's masonry facade will remain and its upstairs rooms will be converted to apartments. Additional layers will be added at the rear of the building, architect Robert Ficarra from Interlandi Mantesso said. "The ground floor of the hotel will remain as a commercial tenancy, a cafe or restaurant, not so much an entertainment venue," Mr Ficarra said.
The street-facing sections will be three levels, rising to six at the rear. A modern, fritted-glass exterior on the upper portions, which will screen its 28 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments.
Hotel developers the Saade Group's other projects include the revamped former post office in Carre Street, Elsternwick.
Construction at the Station is expected to start in June and finish in December next year.