Hawthorn will see the return of a local icon as The Beehive comes to life once again, reopening as a pub after a 15-year hiatus.

Since its original closure, The Beehive operated as restaurants Serafina and Butcher and Vine. Spearheaded by long-time hospitality partners Julien Moussi, director of Only Hospitality, and Tony Pantano, COO at Only Hospitality, the venue will trade as a pub once again.

Having grown up in Hawthorn, Moussi and Pantano were both regulars in the pub and intend to honour the old-world charm of the building as they welcome patrons old and new.

“Since The Beehive’s closure more than a decade ago, it left a bit of a void for a trusty local. While Melbourne is still buzzing with pubs, there’s not as many options on this side of town,” says Moussi.

“Our vision for The Beehive is that it’ll be a pub for the people and reignite that sense of community. This transformation invites a new wave of Melbournians to discover the iconic venue, and that’s something we’re really excited about.

“We’re hoping to create a meeting place, somewhere people can return to time and time again. We want people to feel at home here, to stay and really make it their own,” he continued.

Moussi and Pantano have worked in partnership with design and construction experts underwood on the transformation, aiming to reimagine the historic pub through a modern lens and championing restoration over renovation.

Light honey tones wrap the building’s exterior, with original structural elements remaining, including the infamous beehive sculpture.

Stepping inside, the venue holds capacity for 300 patrons, appealing to sporting enthusiasts with screen views throughout the public bar, bistro, outdoor area and multifunctional private dining room.

Putting a modern riff on the nostalgia of the pub, heritage ceiling plasterwork and restored flooring is complimented by a colour palette of yellows and browns in the public bar, leading into a carpeted and cork-cladded bistro with banquette seating.

While the venue remains a destination for sports fans, the team have put an equal amount of emphasis on the food offering, with the focus this time around being as much about good food as it is good times.

Tony Pantano and Julien Moussi of Only Hospitality

With Chris Rendell at the helm, whose culinary background spans kitchens across Melbourne, Sydney, New York, London and New Zealand, the menu puts a modern touch on classic pub fare with a focus on woodfire cooking.

Highlights from the bistro menu include meats cooked on the charcoal grill, chicken schnitzel and The Beehive’s signature cheeseburger, along with a changing menu of pastas and share plates. Honouring the name of the pub, the menu also heroes local honey by Pure Peninsula, featuring in dishes and drinks.

Drinks-wise, patrons can expect to find 12 beers on tap, a selection of wines focusing on local prooducers, and a creative cocktail list.

After a decade crafting dining experiences in Melbourne with a stable of 20 venues, the restoration of The Beehive marks the third pub in Only Hospitality’s portfolio.

The group says it is currently focusing its efforts on growing its pub portfolio, which also includes Hotel Collingwood and Hobsons Bay Hotel.

The Beehive will open for trade on Monday 15 July, operating Monday to Friday from noon until late, and 11:30am until late on Saturday and Sunday.

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