Publicans Matt Vero (Marquis of Lorne, Union House, Mt Erica Hotel) and Scott Connolly (Moore St Tavern) will take the Healesville Hotel into the next era of its 130-year history.

“Scott and I were really excited at the opportunity to take on another historic icon and restore it to its former glory for all to enjoy,” Vero said.

As Vero and Connolly have both made fond memories in the Yarra Valley and in Healesville, the opportunity to take ownership of the venue was an exciting one.

“Matt and his wife used to go there for his birthday weekends regularly. My wife and I, over our time together we’ve had some great memories there. We’ve been there for dinner, spent some long afternoons in the big backyard there. When the opportunity arose to potentially take on the Healesville Hotel and be the next custodians of it, we absolutely jumped at the chance,” Connolly described.

Vero and Connolly also own Armadale’s Orrong Hotel together. The pair will be taking a similar approach to the Healesville Hotel and focusing on creating a venue for the Healesville community.

“We want to create a local-focused hotel, really engage with the community there. That’s your lifeblood,” Connolly said. “The reaction so far in the community seems to be really positive. They’re looking forward to getting back in there and having their hotel back.”

The venue includes a public bar, bistro, and large beer garden, which will be renovated prior to the venue’s reopening.

“The ethos behind the interior design was to reimagine the Healesville Hotel; to honour its beautiful bones from its past and restore a sense of nostalgia through the interiors. It is something we are very much looking forward to,” Vero commented.

The kitchen will be led by head chef Ella Stevens, formerly of the Sand Hill Road group. The new menu and drinks list will serve traditional pub favourites, as well as seasonal offerings highlighting producers from the Yarra Valley.

“We are really excited to get in there and get started. We love the hotel. We’re passionate about this industry. We’ve been in it a long time. We want to get in there and create an incredible pub for people in Healesville, and we want it to be the next jewel of the Yarra Valley,” Connolly concluded.

The Healesville Hotel is set to reopen in winter of this year.

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