Hilary McNevin and Roslyn Grundy

Opening bid: Lot 347, in the old auction rooms space.
Opening bid: Lot 347, in the old auction rooms space. Photo: Supplied

Smith Street's NoJo area is shaping up as a craft beer hub with the emergence of two neighbouring beer-focused bars: Lot 347 in the former Monties at 347 Smith Street, and Two Row at No. 351.

Lot 347, which opened last week, is in Fitzroy's huge original auction rooms. Owner Stephen Trainor says his auctioneer father Peter worked on the premises for more than 50 years, and he's carefully retained the building's best features, including exposed-brick walls and lofty raftered ceilings. He's featuring craft beers such as White Rabbit, Little Creatures and Mountain Goat, and a beer-friendly menu designed by Ricky Holt, of Carlton North's pioneering Rathdowne Street Food Store.

Meanwhile, work continues next door on Two Row, an offshoot of Richmond craft beer retailer Slowbeer. Due to open in mid-March, Two Row is named for a type of barley used in beer-making, says co-owner Tiffany Waldron. The bar will offer rare and boutique craft beers, along with wines, bourbons, whiskeys, and cheese and beer matching.