The Moon Dog team are, well, over the moon. This past weekend, Maribyrnong Council finally gave them the go-ahead to move forward with plans for a new Footscray venue in the former Franco Cozzo building.

The trio behind the respected brewery, brothers Jake and Josh Uljans and Karl van Buuren, found out about the decision on Saturday August 12 along with everyone else, when the City of Maribyrnong posted the approval on its Facebook page, saying, “Subject to VCAT approval, a planning permit will be issued shortly.”

The plan was initially rejected by the council back in June on the basis it would “result in unacceptable risk to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists”; that “the sale and consumption of liquor would result in unacceptable amenity impacts” and that the application “fails to provide the required number of car parking spaces” as outlined in the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme.

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Van Buuren told Broadsheet the Moon Dog team worked closely with the council and an external consulting firm to find solutions to these problems. The venue capacity has been reduced from 900 to 800 people; there will be staggered closing regulations so guests leave gradually over the night rather than all at once; operating hours have been reduced; the entry foyer has been moved to the centre of the venue; and the team will construct a pedestrian fence along Hopkins Street at the front of the new brew house.

The venue was originally planned to open this summer and the Moon Dog team are planning to keep that as the opening date. Van Buuren says they’re finalising design plans with Two Design in the next few weeks, have already found a builder and are looking to start renovations soon.

While they estimate it will around take six months, van Buuren is optimistic, “I reckon if we pull out all our strings, we can get it done sooner,” he says. “We can’t wait to be part of the Footscray community,” he adds.