The Keys, Preston’s 600-person bowling alley, already has a gaming arcade, dancefloor, live music space, three bars, a bistro, beer garden and – most strikingly – 12 maple-wood bowling lanes. Already an exceptionally versatile hangout spot, owners Jon Rowatt and Thomas Peasnell have further expanded the venue’s offering with The Keys Kiosk, an outdoor kitchen in the courtyard with a woodfired oven and grill, which is hosting a series of chef pop-ups this summer.

“The kiosk will act as our ‘specials’ board, regularly rotating dishes that might not be sustainable on our regular bistro menu,” Peasnell tells Broadsheet. “It’s bold, fun and creative [and] an avenue to attract the Melbourne foodie scene with a high-class offering.”

Chefs will be doing both extended and one-day-only pop-ups. Sam Stafford (Mono-XO) kicked things off with a menu including Sydney rock oysters with malt dressing, ox tongue with herb-heavy sauce and whole-roasted flounder with cafe de Paris sauce. When Stafford’s stint ends later this summer, the kiosk will welcome Maria Delengas (Arkhe) to take over the grill.

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The maximalist venue will continue to grow and develop. “We still have another 1200 square metres of unused space at The Keys, with plans to slowly expand our leisure offering into such things as bandrooms, bottle shops and a wine bar opening up to Plenty Road,” says Peasnell. “We will be taking our time with this though, looking to open things gradually as we learn what our clientele are vibing.”

The Keys Kiosk is open Thursdays and Fridays from 5pm, and from 12pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

@thekeys.leisure