Located on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Beaconsfield Parade in Albert Park, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, Bleakhouse Hotel (formally The Beach Hotel) returns under the watchful eye of Tom Walker (ex-Director, Melbourne Pub Group) and Executive Chef Dave Marshall (ex-Wilson and Market, Middle Park Hotel, MG Garage Sydney and Le Tant Claire UK ).
Walker, a veteran of the Melbourne Hospitality scene, acquired management rights for the venue in 2018 and swiftly engaged James Oberin, under the watchful guise of Six Degrees Architecture, who reinvigorated the interiors. The exterior façade will follow with the addition of footpath trading and the renovation of the top floor overlooking Port Phillip Bay.
Taking many incarnations since 1883 the pub, known as the 'Bleakhouse,' has been restored to its roots as a watering hole for locals. Native hardwood plywood table and bar-tops, steel tube light fittings and private booth seating with TV screens prime for sport viewing) wipe clean the slate to reposition the Bleakhouse as a reliable local pub inline with its history.
"The hotel needed to again position itself as modern, comfortable and welcoming to all, which felt like appropriate timing to return to the hotel's original name - reinstating "Bleakhouse" was an important step in paying homage to the history and culture of the location." said Walker.
"We've brought in a new team with specialised skills creating a significant overall change to the look and feel of the venue. We want to re-establish the credibility of the hotel with both locals and visitors," he said.
Chef Dave Marshall spearheads the kitchen team bringing with him an arsenal of experience from classical Michelin star kitchens and hatted gastropubs across Melbourne and the UK. Working alongside an impressive pedigree of renowned chefs including Pierre Koffmann (of the 3-Michelin Star Le Tant Claire, London), Jeremy Strode, Paul Wilson and Ian Curley, Marshall dishes up a humble menu of traditional British pub fare.
Drawing inspiration from local, seasonal ingredients, Marshall's light-hearted, tasty dishes includes favourites such as a wild boar toad in the hole, a traditional ploughman's plate, smoked ham hock & chorizo stew and knickerbocker glory, "Growing up in Northern England, meat and two-veg was the staple and will always be a part of my foundation, however, these simple dishes can be spectacular when they're made from the best ingredients," says Marshall.
"Value for money is always at the forefront of the customer's mind. At the Bleakhouse we want to serve traditional pub fare using seasonal ingredients sourced from ethical suppliers local to the region, that people still believe is well priced." He said.
To celebrate the opening of Bleakhouse, Marshall is collaborating with longtime friend and fellow Brit Mark Briggs (ex-Vue de monde) of SARDINE eatery + bar for a one-off dinner on Wednesday 17 July.
Growing up in the same town and friends since the age of three, Marshall and Briggs have worked, socialised and collaborated together for more than two decades. Briggs boasts a similarly impressive pedigree. After winning Australian Young Chef of the Year in 2013, he took the helm as Head Chef of Vue de monde. Higgs left the city life in 2017 to open seafood diner, SARDINE eatery + bar. Within its first year of operating, SARDINE eatery + bar received a hat from the Age Good Food Guide.
Committed to sustainable cooking, Briggs will bring his love of seafood to Bleakhouse, working alongside Executive Chef, David Marshall to create a 4-course menu paired with wines from Gippsland's Cannibal Creek Vineyard ($95 per person).
Bleakhouse Hotel and Mark Briggs Dinner
Wednesday July 17th | 7pm
$95 per person
*Bookings Essential (03) 9690-4642
97 Beaconsfield Parade