The Beehive Hotel on Barkers Road in Hawthorn was originally built in 1854 on what was then called Beehive Road. The hotel was later rebuilt in 1882 on its current site and operated as a pub into the 2000s, but was most recently home to Mediterranean restaurant Serafina.

Only Hospitality group’s Julien Moussi (Hotel Collingwood, Willim) says he and business partner Tony Pantano took over the historic building just over a month ago. Since then, they’ve been working to restore the venue to its former glory and plan to reopen it as The Beehive on Monday July 15.

“It's really nice to call it back … and pay homage to what it once was,” Moussi tells Broadsheet.

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Growing up in the area, Moussi and Pantano were both patrons of The Beehive during their late teens and early twenties. “It's a pretty nostalgic venue for a lot of people my age,” says Moussi. “It’s where everyone sort of had their first beer.”

The team is completely renovating the interiors, and the new design harks back to the early days of The Beehive. “We’re trying to make the pub feel like it’s back to its original state,” Moussi says, adding that all finish touches will have a “retro” feel. “It certainly won’t feel like a modern pub, it’ll feel really homey. Everything will be dark tones and it’ll be a very moody space.”

There’ll be a strong focus on woodfired cooking and executive chef Chris Rendell – who has worked for chefs including Neil Perry and Christine Manfield and worked as chef in New York for 16 years – will oversee the menu.

Dishes will include a cheeseburger, pastas like tagliatelle with oyster and enoki mushrooms, and a few items that nod to the venue’s name including Comté and leek croquettes with hot honey.

The 300-capacity venue will have a front bar, a “cute and cosy” 55-seat bistro and a courtyard. Upstairs function rooms will open at a later date.

Moussi says he’s particularly excited about a mini “hall of fame” that will be in the corridor between the public bar and the restrooms, where local sporting clubs will be able to put up premiership photos and other memorabilia. That way, he says, “the immediate community will be able to put its touch on the space”.

The Beehive is expected to open at 84 Barkers Road on Monday July 15, 2024.