Bars & Pubs

Melbourne Institution, Penny Black, Is Reopening With A New Menu, Interior And Beer Garden

By Rick Stephens
28th Jun 2021

A large old-school pub towering in the sunset.

Melbourne’s rich and diverse hospitality scene lost some of the good ones last year, but as we recover from the nightmare that was 2020, we’re beginning to see some serious signs of life with a slew of new venues announced along with several favourites returning. The latest whisper is that the Penny Black is returning in full force with a new menu, a new interior and a new title, Penny’s.

The hefty overhaul has a Japanese bent to it, and it begins with a new chef in the kitchen, Sandy Melgalvis of Three Blue Ducks. Along with the team, Melgavis has created a Japanese-leaning menu covering off cauli-katsu sandwiches, karaage chicken, and hashimaki (which is kind of like okonomiyaki served on a stick). It’s all been designed to share and to pair perfectly with beer—in which the bar will have plenty of classics along with a host of crafty numbers on tap, too.

What is arguably one of Melbourne’s most iconic beer gardens out the back has also been given a serious refresh. Expect a tropical aesthetic out the back to complement the bar which nods to Japan’s rock and roll scene back in the 70s; it’s a bold concept that comes from the Group’s Creative Director Matt Lane previously of Mamasita and Hotel Jesus. 

The fresh lick of paint comes as part of a larger project, Welcome To Brunswick, which is essentially turning the area into a food and booze precinct by connecting Four Pines Brewery, Brunswick Mess Hall, Little Mess, Mr Burger and Penny into one giant, weekend-ready venue.

Penny’s, and that beer garden we all hold so dearly, is expected to open this July. We'd be surprised if you didn't know where to find this gem, but just in case, that address is 420 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

Did you hear? The minds behind Chin Chin are opening an Italian-inspired diner at the top end of Collins Street.

Image credit: supplied

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