From A Prison To A Brewery

8 years ago
4 minutes

One of Coburg’s most historically significant sites, the old heritage-listed laundry and D Division at the former Pentridge Prison, is set to be transformed into a buzzing restaurant, bar, brewery and laneway precinct with the owner of the Post Office Hotel, Danial Caneva at the helm.

‘Coburg Brewing Co.’ will be designed by renowned architects, Technē, and is set to encompass both outdoor, indoor and laneway dining options, with some of the site’s key heritage features such as laundry machinery and solitary confinement cells, to be restored and showcased as a feature within the venue.

The dining precinct is part of developer, Future Estate’s $1billion ‘Coburg Quarter’ project which aims to deliver inspired dining and commercial precincts within a first-class urban renewal community, transforming the substantial site into a new beacon for Melbourne’s north and creating an enviable lifestyle of practical convenience and premium amenity.

“Working with Technē and Future Estate to realise this vision has been an incredible experience. The opportunity to be a part of one of the last remaining prison conversions in Australia is truly a once-in-a- lifetime experience,” Caneva said.

As owner of the nearby Post Office Hotel and proud Coburg local, Caneva has witnessed the suburb evolve over the last decade and is confident the introduction of new hospitality offerings is the key to the area’s continued gentrification.

“Our intention is to create a venue that resonates with local patrons by offering an authentic mix of home grown beer, wine and spirits and an honest menu that will see a charcoal grill deliver modern Australian BBQ food designed to share,” says Caneva.

The site’s conversion will also cater for an on-site microbrewery where Caneva and his wife Jane, will produce their independent beer, ‘Coburg Lager’. Now stocked in over 100 venues, the craft beer will feature alongside an all Australian food and beverage offering that celebrates local produce.

“Melbourne’s craft beer scene is exploding right now and Coburg Brewing Co. is fortunate enough to be involved in this movement with a microbrewery that proves there is demand for quality, local products and huge support for its producers,” says Caneva, who plans to release new beers upon opening.

Following this theme, Coburg Quarter will introduce an authentic mix of local, independent retailers that Future Estate have hand-picked specifically to appeal to the Northside community and its broad demographics.

“Drawing inspiration from the iconic boroughs of New York City and London, our vision for Coburg Quarter is of a new urban community with soul, creativity and a genuine sense of neighbourly spirit,” says Future Estate Founder and Managing director, Ben Anderson.

“With Danial’s favour amongst this community and the high esteem in which The Post Office Hotel is held amongst locals, we expect Coburg Brewing Co. to become a Coburg institution in its own right,” says Anderson.

Working closely with Caneva and the team at Future Estate, Melbourne architecture practice, Technē, will create a contemporary environment that respects the immense history of the site and celebrates its heritage.

Prominent in the hospitality design scene, Technē are responsible for delivering some of Melbourne’s most recognised venues, such as Prahran Hotel, Bridge Hotel, Terminus Hotel, Tonka Restaurant, Movida and Munich Brauhaus.

The restoration of the heritage D Division will see historical elements retained and integrated into a more modern aesthetic. The existing fabric of bluestone walls, timber trusses and corrugated iron

roofing will be rebirthed with fresh steel, tile and timber joinery introduced as part of an overall design that is at once refined and robust.

To the rear is an intimate courtyard space which will be converted into an enclosed beer garden. An abundance of vegetation will soften and break up the area, as various external roof and shade structures enable all weather usage.

Scheduled for completion in July 2016, Anderson is confident that the degraded state of the building won’t prohibit its delivery.

“The expert consultants team we have assembled will cover all the technical requirements of the project to ensure everything is dealt with in a logical and sensitive manner.

“We are really excited about the vision for this precinct and pleased to be commencing construction in the first quarter of 2016, with plans to launch the new dining precinct later on in the year,” says Anderson.