Moon Dog Footscray will open in summer 2023, pending a successful planning application.

It’s been just three years since gargantuan brewery Moon Dog World opened in Preston, dominating headlines and TV news.

But the trio of larrikins behind Moon Dog are already preparing to top that feat. In summer 2023 they hope to open a new venue inside the iconic Franco Cozzo building in “Foot-is-cray”, which has been vacant for several years.

The company has lodged a planning application with council for a new 900-capacity venue on the site, including a rooftop garden with sweeping city views. That’s another 175 heads on top of Moon Dog World, which is licensed for 725 people. Nothing’s approved yet and anything could change, but even if it opens with a far reduced capacity, Moon Dog Footscray will be the biggest venue in the area by a wide margin.

“From the time we opened Moon Dog World in October 2019, we’d always planned to have more venues,” marketing manager Brook Hornung tells Broadsheet. “When that site came up, it was too good to be true. It’s probably one of the most iconic buildings in Melbourne for people of our generation.”

Recognising this, the crew at Moon Dog is keen to preserve aspects of the building’s history, including the “Franco Cozzo” signage, the mural on the side wall and even some of the rococo furniture, which punters will be able to sit on. We’d expect nothing less from the people who installed a lagoon and working waterfall at their previous project.

There won’t be a brewery on site, Hornung says, but beer will be trucked from Preston in bulk and drawn from big theatrical tanks. Food is also planned, but a concept or menu are a way off.

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Updated: November 22nd, 2023

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