Australia may be a young country, but we do love our history. Which begs the question; do you know the back-story of your local?
While Melbourne is bursting at the seams with new and interesting places to wine and dine, sometimes you can’t go past a good old-fashioned pub meal. Hawthorn’s historic Beehive Hotel ticks all the boxes for a gastro-pub experience, with a modern, sophisticated twist.
The pub was named after the Irish town Beehive, where its first publican James Colvin was born. Opening in 1855, the venue was originally set back a little from the corner on Church Street, moving nearly 30 years later to its iconic corner dwelling in 1882.
To signify the pub’s importance to the area, Barkers Road was once called Beehive Road, it was also one of the first public houses to open east of the Yarra River.
Like many places, over time the Beehive has gone through changes; new décor, menu, staff, minor facelifts are all part of growing older. But just a few years ago, the Beehive was stripped of all its history and worn-in culture with a complete overhaul.
Previous owners renamed the establishment, gave it a paint job, and basically tried to redefine the entire essence of what the Beehive is and has been to its locals for many years.
Needless to say, the ballsy venture wasn’t overly successful, and at the end of 2013 Kris Gately took over the venue as the new owner, with the intention of bringing The Beehive back to its former glory, and his own personal touch.
Taking it on at such a busy period meant it was business as usual for some time, operating under the name Barkers Wine Bar & Bistro, until later in 2014 when the venue was officially brought back to life.
The name ‘Beehive’ is fitting for a pub; the idea of people coming and going, buzzing in through the door for a catch up with friends, meet with loved ones or to wind down from work with a quiet drink.
When visiting The Beehive, Gately is usually not far from view, you might see him pulling your beer, chatting with customers or sometimes even bringing you your meals.
His passion for upholding and promoting the hotel’s history is evident from old pictures on the walls, the rustic original interiors proudly on show and the good old fashioned service provided.
The overall presentation of The Beehive is laid back with a touch of class that resonates through the venue. The staff are friendly, and are exceptionally knowledgeable in their service, the menu is full of your pub favourites, but think again if you’re after a greasy parma, and you can perch on a chesterfield lounge while eating an oh-so-Melbourne wood fired pizza.
Gately and the team at The Beehive Hotel have managed to capture old and new style into something that is comfortable, hearty and welcoming. All the ideal ingredients for the perfect local pub.
84 Barkers Rd,
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Image source: http://www.beehivehotel.com.au/