‘We aim to start pulling beers at 3pm Friday September’16th ,”said Ross Gregory who is managing the renovation and re-opening of The Savoia in Hepburn Springs.
It has been over 12 months since Hepburn’s only remaining pub closed its doors after it was sold to Paul Morwood, an ex-AFL footballer who played for South Melbourne/Swans, St.Kilda and Collingwood back in the 1980s.
Hepburn locals will no doubt be looking forward to having their ‘local’ return but they need to be prepared for a very different experience when walking into The Savoia. The original façade of the pub remains because it is protected by a heritage overlay but the inside looks very different. Cathedral ceilings, a wide-open bar area and a games room are just some of the nods to the past that have remained inside the building.
An amazing, vaulted wood ceiling was uncovered during the renovation. Ross was very keen to keep the ceiling as it was, apart from cleaning it up and making sure it was safe and structurally sound. It adds a great ambience to the Bistro area that is being set up hold 120+ patrons. The rear of the building’s façade was covered in render which has now been removed to expose the original brickwork as a backdrop to a stage for local musicians.
So what are the plans going forward for The Savoia?
The pub opened on Friday for drinks only as the kitchen remains under construction. The plan is to open the kitchen in 2-3 weeks under local Chef Lizzy Payne.
Going forward, the plan is to build accommodation at the rear of the building with 8 two-bedroom apartments and a five-bedroom house.
The locals of Hepburn have a lot to look forward to with the re-opening of their local pub – live music, a games room where the snooker table and dart board will be permanently set up, a bistro serving meals, a couple of massive TVs on the walls to watch the footy and the cricket and even a private dining area where meetings or dinners for smaller numbers can be held.
Both locals and tourists will be well served as the re-opening will provide another drawcard for both locals and tourists to come to Hepburn Springs.
And Ross made it clear that he is pushing to employ locals both for the renovation work and to staff The Savoia once it is fully reopened.
Oh, and in case you are wondering if the fireplace was retained, it most definitely was! You can still enjoy a cosy drink by the fire during the long winter months.
See you at the bar for a drink on Friday at 3!