Footscray's Hart Hotel is getting a do-over at the hands of Anthony Hammond – a publican who grew up in his parents' hotels and co-owns the Builders Arms with Andrew McConnell. Along with his wife Jo deFina and business partner Nick Carter, they'll be sprucing up the venue but keeping it accessible.
The pub will re-open as the Victoria Hotel in mid-September after a fitout by Projects of Imagination. Campbell Burton, the former sommelier for the Builders will be consulting on the list and chef James Cornwall, who was last at Hong Kong's Seafood Room, is on the pans.
Despite those pedigrees, Hammond is promising to keep it as a good local boozer. His reference point is Tom McHugo's in Hobart where it's traditional pub food (steaks and buttered flounder) cooked by a serious chef. "It's like when Matt Wilkinson applied his fine dining skills to a cafe. We're doing that for a pub."
43 Victoria Street, Footscray.