The renamed and refurbished Hotel Collingwood (formerly Robert Burns Hotel) plans to open its doors next week with a new name, a new look, and a new food offering.

The launch of the first pub venture for café operator Julien Moussi will see Lucas group alumni John Woo and Allan Hwang head up the kitchen team to deliver a menu with classic pub grub and mod-Asian beer food. Craft beer and natural wines will also feature, alongside an extensive cocktail list. 

Moussi’s Only Hospitality Group (OHG) acquired the pub’s leasehold at the start of July, and renovations will see a revitalised downstairs wine bar, beer garden, dining room and dedicated events space on the second floor.

OHG, which operates a string of cafes and a coffee roasting facility, Inglewood Coffee Roasters, was founded by Moussi, a former VFL footballer.

Moussi told Australian Hotelier at the time that adding pubs to the portfolio has always been part of OHGs plan, and that the new leasehold will beef up job opportunities for the group’s employees.

He said Melbourne’s recent lockdown brought the renovation forward by two weeks. In the new-look Hotel Collingwood, the Scottish tartan carpet and gas fires have been replaced with timber floors and open fires, converted back to their original state, for a warmer feel.

“We’ve also spent a lot on our new beer garden which we can use all year round, rain or shine. It’s as warm as inside the hotel, even in winter,” Moussi said.

To oversee the food offer, the group added John Woo and Allan Hwang to the executive team in recent weeks. On offer will be simple menu items done really well, as well as mod-Asian-inspired share plates and entrees which will be included in the function menu.

“Our goal is to make the food fun, but still very approachable,” Moussi said.

He also said OHG has its eye on more pub acquisitions in the future. “We are looking at a couple at the moment, but there is nothing set in stone right now.”

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