Tom Hogan had his bucks' party at Fitzroy's Rose hotel. Ten years later his name is going over the door as the publican. He and business partner John Tennent looked at plenty of pubs before settling on the historic Napier Street pub, where they'll expand on their Port Melbourne wine bar Harry and Frankie.
They'll close the Rose on December 21 and start modernising the space downstairs on January 4, "without turning it into a yuppie bar or a gastropub", before installing Harry and Frankie Fitzroy upstairs.
The TVs are moving into the front bar so locals can drop in during winter to watch the football with a pot and a parma. The back room will become a family-friendly dining room with banquettes, a bar with comfortable stools and a relaxed pub-style menu, says Hogan, a sommelier whose CV lists Lake House, the Supper Club and Langton's.
They hope to re-open downstairs by mid-February, then embark on stage 2: turning the upstairs restaurant into a wine bar, with a separate entrance, a full-length bar and private dining room. Instead of a wine list, they'll have a wine room where diners can choose something to drink direct from the racks and order charcuterie, cheese and tapas.
Harry and Frankie Fitzroy is expected to open by Easter.