Fifteen years since its traded as a pub, the historic Beehive Hotel is flying again, under the captaincy of Julien Moussi and Tony Pantano’s Only Hospitality.

Dating back to 1855, the public house took its name from being on Baker’s Road, which was formerly called Beehive Road. After the landmark building ceased trading as a pub it moonlighted as restaurants Serafina, and Butcher & Vine.

Throughout its various iterations, the Beehive holds nostalgia for many who grew up in Hawthorn, including locals, long-time mates and hospitality partners Moussi and Pantano, who both regularly haunted the joint in their twenties.

While planning to keep it a place “for music and boozing” the new chapter will champion good food as much as good times.

The design, in association with By.Underwood, pays homage to its glory days, preferring restoration over renovation and retention of original structural elements such as heritage ceiling plasterwork and restored flooring, but reimagined “through a modern lens”.

The 300-pax venue provides public bar, replete with fireplace to keep patrons lingering, a carpeted and cork-cladded bistro lined with comfortable banquette seating and custom ‘beehive’ lights, an outdoor area, and a multifunctional private dining room.

The famous beehive sculpture crowning the parapet remains, setting the mood for honey tone interiors and a colour palette of yellows and browns drizzled throughout the interiors.

Sports fans will be entertained by large screen at every vantage point. And the theme continues into the ‘hall of fame’ stand-up drinking space, adorned with a gallery of local memorabilia celebrating community sporting teams and the area’s long-standing connection to football and racing.

On the menu behind the bar are a selection of 12 draught beers, a curation of locally-driven wines, and a comprehensive cocktail list boasting the usual suspects plus some surprise innovations.

In the kitchen, internationally celebrated chef Chris Rendell brings experience from New York, London, Melbourne, Sydney, and most recently New Zealand, for modern pub fare with a strong focus on woodfire cooking, and the likes of Beehive’s signature cheeseburger.

There will also be a selection of ever-changing pastas and snacks, for sharing.

And staying true to its name, honey from local producers Pure Peninsula is to be found trickled throughout both the food and drinks menu, seen in the cheeseboard with honeycomb, honey-based desserts, and even a hot honey cocktail.

Tony Pantano & Julien Moussi

Only Hospitality has built a collection of café culture venues across Victoria and employs over 500 staff.

It has begun growing a stable of pubs, so far counting Hotel Collingwood and Hobsons Bay Hotel.

Moussi and Pantano’s attachment to The Beehive has kept their eye on the site for some time, and they say its closure more than a decade ago left “a bit of a void” in the precinct.

“While Melbourne is buzzing with pubs, there’s not as many options on this side of town,” says Moussi.

The group’s vision for the revival is a pub that “reignites” a sense of community.

“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.”

The Beehive will reopen Monday, 15 July.

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