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FOOD & DRINK

The Ascot Lot Crew Is Opening a 400-Seat Mess Hall, Bar and Bottle Shop in Moonee Ponds

Holmes Hall will have 25 beer taps, mac 'n' cheese balls, pinball machines and regular live music.
By Libby Curran
March 13, 2020
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By Libby Curran
March 13, 2020
  shares

It should come as no great surprise that the next venue from the minds behind multifaceted food truck park The Ascot Lot won't be just one venue at all. Rather, Jacob Bettio, Lachlan Taylor and David Bartl are once again trying their hand at a whole entertainment precinct.

The trio has taken over the Moonee Ponds site once home to the long-running Russo's supermarket, and is currently busy transforming it into a sprawling hospitality hub, complete with 400-seat mess hall, laneway bar and boutique bottle shop.

The first part of the project is already open, with craft-focused beer and wine store Fizz & Hop relocating from its original pop-up space, into its permanent corner within the 500-square-metre Holmes Road building. This cosy bottle shop and lounge bar is stocked with a 250-strong selection, including drops available to drink in (for a small corkage fee) or take home.

It's working a laidback living room feel, with lots of reclaimed timber, exposed brickwork and comfy armchairs to kick back in, and regular Friday night tasting sessions featuring some of the country's hottest producers. Right now, you can order in delivery from one of the nearby eateries, though a menu of toasties and charcuterie is set to drop in the coming weeks.

Next up, is the headline act: Holmes Hall. Slated to open its doors this April, the roomy mess hall will see the light-filled building pared right back to its historic bones, with original brickwork and concrete flooring elevated with warm timber finishes and plush velvet booths. This one's set to be a drinker's haven for sure, boasting a hefty 25 beer taps and a solid rotation of tinnies sourced from Fizz & Hop, along with local wines, spirits and crafty cocktails.

As for the food, Byron Bay chef Angus Adams (Vue de Monde) is pulling together a tapas-style menu with plenty of American influence. Alongside a slew of plant-based options, expect bites like buffalo wings, gooey truffle mac 'n' cheese balls and some modern revamps of your fave pub grub.

As is the case at sister venue The Ascot Lot, Holmes Hall is set to play host to a program of regular events, parties and mini festivals, while pinball, shuffleboard and live tunes should keep you more than entertained across the rest of your visits.

An adjoining Miami-themed laneway bar will also join the family, set to open in September.

Find Fizz & Hop from 2–9pm Tuesday–Wednesday, 12pm–late Thursday–Friday and 11am–late Saturday at 15 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds. Holmes Hall is slated to open at the same address in April. 

Published on March 13, 2020 by Libby Curran

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