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The Keys Is a New All-In-One Beer Garden, Arcade and Bowling Alley Opening This Summer

Get set for 12 maple timber bowling lanes, three bars and a beer garden with capacity for 450 punters.
By Libby Curran
August 23, 2021
By Libby Curran
August 23, 2021

The well-trodden, four-walled space that is your home can start to feel like a big old yawn after the sixth lockdown. But, a new northside venue is here to show Melburnians just how much fun you can pack in under one roof. Introducing, The Keys — an 'all-in-one leisure centre' complete with a reimagined vintage bowling alley, arcade, bar, bistro and beer garden. Here, more is indeed merrier.

The Keys is slated to open its doors this summer, taking over a sprawling warehouse space on Preston's Plenty Road. It's the brainchild of school friends Tom Peasnell and Jon Rowatt, who also form part of the crew behind venues including Dexter, Takeaway Pizza, Kenny Lover and Dom's Social Club. The Keys' main persona is a retro bowling alley reimagined for the modern-day bowler, with stylish contemporary accents played against vintage glass panelling and the 110-year-old building's original exposed timber beams. Twelve maple timber bowling lanes have been tricked out with upcycled parts from former bowling alleys, along with the latest tech and machinery.

Meanwhile, a collection of retro arcade games, pool tables and a state-of-the-art sound system will keep you more than entertained between games. The space also boasts a fireside lounge area,  dance floor, dining zone, bar and a roomy beer garden with capacity for 450 punters. The entire space clocks in at a cool 2,000 square metres.

Of course, the bar offering is a touch more grown-up compared to the drink selection at your childhood bowling parties. Across three separate bars, a hefty 48 taps will be largely championing local brewing mates. That includes pouring beers from fellow northsiders Moon Dog Brewing, Tallboy & Moose, La Sirene and Hawkers, alongside a couple of exclusive 3 Ravens collaborations. In a fitting nod to one of history's most iconic bowling flicks, Concrete Playground is told there'll also be Big Lebowski-style White Russians on the tap list too.

Meanwhile, Head Chef Peasnell will be fuelling nostalgia further with a menu of cleverly revamped classics, with bar snacks, pub favourites and New York-style pizzas top of the agenda.

If that all sounds like the kind of club you want to join ASAP, there are a limited number of Founders Membership packs on offer for $160 a pop, available until mid-September. One of these will get you a bunch of extra swag, including VIP entry to the venue's grand opening party, a personalised bowling shirt, a selection of craft beers, a key ring, special discounts and 25 free game tokens to drop at The Keys in its first year.

Find The Keys at 1/188 Plenty Road, Preston, this coming summer. Head to the website to find out more and to snap up a Founders pack.

Published on August 23, 2021 by Libby Curran


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