Holmes Hall Is Moonee Ponds' New 400-Seat Mess Hall and Beer Garden from The Ascot Lot Crew
The plant-filled and neon-lit venue has 20 beer taps, a vegan-friendly gastropub menu and even pinball machines and a shuffleboard table.
Thanks to COVID-19, the wait was a lengthy one. But finally, seven months after its planned launch date, Moonee Ponds' long-anticipated new mess hall and beer garden has opened its doors.
The latest venture from The Ascot Lot's Jacob Bettio, Lachlan Taylor and David Bartl, Holmes Hall debuted in November 2020, taking over the sprawling 500-square-metre space once home to Russo's Supermarket. Adjacent to the boys' existing craft bottle shop Fizz & Hop, the historic building has been stripped back to its bones, now featuring plush velvet booths, warm timber accents, terrazzo tabletops, lots of greenery and a touch of neon to complement the original brickwork and concrete flooring.
The newcomer boasts space to seat 400 punters, while its expansive bar offering ensures none of them will be going thirsty in a hurry. Beer-lovers will find a huge 20-strong tap lineup pouring a diverse rotation of brews, most recently including the likes of Mountain Goat's Botanical IPA and the Petal Head summer ale from Preston's Tallboy & Moose. There's a tight list of wines from both near and far — perhaps the Gilbert skin contact sauv blanc out of Orange — and crafty cocktails ranging from a Nutella-infused espresso martini, to the vegan-friendly Crumbly Cob, which features apple pie moonshine, spiced syrup and Dewar's scotch. Inside, choose from an array of nooks, booths and spaces to settle in and enjoy your sips, or make the most of the summer rays with a table in the sun-drenched beer garden.
In the kitchen, chef James Curby is turning out a share-friendly menu of gastropub eats, for both lunch and dinner. Graze your way through plates like the spicy Szechuan-style squid, patatas bravas served with olive aioli, loaded vegan boards and the Meat Lover's Beer Platter: a hefty assembly of barbecued meats, homemade pretzel and beer jam, with extras like sauerkraut and pickled chilli cauliflower. There's a trio of burgers, a verdant summer risotto and a daily-changing pasta special, while Thai-style chicken comes tossed in a lemongrass and lime caramel, matched with herby slaw.
No one's about to go bored outside of the eating and drinking, either. You can unleash some competitive spirit on the shuffleboard table or rotating pinball machines, and kick back to tunes from resident DJs every Friday and Saturday. Plus, just like its sibling The Ascot Lot, Holmes Hall is set to deliver a jam-packed calendar of weekly happenings and one-off events, promising a different experience every time you step through the doors.
Find Holmes Hall at 15 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds. It's open from 5–11pm Wednesday–Thursday and 12pm–1am Friday–Saturday ad 12–11pm on Sunday.
Images: Parker Blain
Published on January 20, 2021 by Libby Curran