The Team Behind Footscray's Mr West Has Taken Over an Iconic Space in Brunswick
No, it won’t be called Mr North.
August 11, 2023
Good news for any Mr West fans who live in Melbourne's north: the brains and souls behind the iconic Footscray venue will be taking over 4 Saxon Street in Brunswick. Previously occupied by community favourite Theodore's, the team at Mr West say they're "humbled to be entrusted with continuing its legacy and shaping the next exciting chapter".
Luckily, the old Theodore's space is in good hands, given Mr West is one of our fave bars in Melbourne. Over the next 12 months, the venue will run as a collaborative pop-up project, with the Mr West team serving drinks and taking care of service, while their mates at Dingo Ate My Taco provide signature tacos, as well as some exclusive dishes.
After the initial pop-up phase, the Mr West team will transform the space into a new wine bar that will take on an identity of its own — complete with a new name (apparently, it won't be called Mr North).
Mr West's Group Marketing Manager (and Head of Snacks) Dimitra Sarakinis tells Concrete Playground she's excited to emulate the neighbourhood bar feel they've achieved at Mr West.
"For us, being a neighbourhood bar that becomes part of the Brunswick community is something we really aspire to be," Sarakinis says. "Although we don't want to give away too much at this stage, our plan is to lean into the styles of food and beverage that we are most passionate about which will include a focus on spontaneous fermentation."
"We also have big plans to continue working creatively with thrice championed best Australian Bartender Nathan Beasley, who has been hiding out of the limelight as our bottleshop manager for the past few years, to craft some creative new cocktails and perhaps something more," Sarakinis added.
For the pop-up project, the venue will retain the distinct charm of Theodore's, but the team has ambitious plans for the space. "The bones of this building are so beautiful. We haven't done any major renovations to start with, just a few minor tweaks to aid the flow of service and a lick of paint. We're quite enamoured with the warehouse aesthetic and it does remind us of Mr West. We are really excited to get stuck into a full renovation within the year but also can't wait to share our new venue with the local community," Sarakinis says.
Mr West Bar & Bottle Shop first opened in 2016, after mates Josh Hodges (Cookie, Feral Brewing Co, Mr West) and Caleb Barker (Greenhouse by Jost, Bluebonnet BBQ, Mr West) combined their extensive experience to create the multifaceted drinking space.
The move has particular significance to Josh, who grew up in Brunswick. "There are many crossovers between Brunswick and Footscray beyond the iconic Franco Cozzo stores," he tells Concrete Playground.
"It is the vibrant and bustling community that drew us to both locations. I had lots of mates living in the Inner West growing up and have always had a strong connection to Footscray but I grew up in Brunswick and my mum still lives a stone's throw from 4 Saxon Street so it very much feels like home to me."
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