Three big hospitality rebirths near Beechworth

Reed and Co. Distillery is Bright by ex-Tani Eat and Drink owners
Reed and Co. Distillery is Bright by ex-Tani Eat and Drink owners Photo: Charlie Brown

It's all happening in Victoria's north east. Keen eaters will remember that the duo behind Tani Eat and Drink (RIP), Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed, were getting into distilling before closing up last April. After growing their gin brand, Remedy gin, for the past year, the duo are back to serving too.

Reed and Co. – their new distillery, cellar door and dining operation in one – is sharing a space with Sixpence coffee roastery at 15 Wills Street, Bright.

Drop in by day for gin flights, mini G and Ts and simpler cellar door food (local charcuterie and cheeses), or on weekend evenings for an entirely wood-fire-fuelled menu including the pork buns they'll never be able to outrun and dishes like whole local cod cooked over coals with hay-smoked potatoes, and maybe salmon cured with eucalyptus citriodora and cold smoked over pine needles – botanicals both used in the gin.

Michael Ryan outside his award-winning restaurant, Provenance, which is having a makeover.
Michael Ryan outside his award-winning restaurant, Provenance, which is having a makeover.  Photo: Rodger Cummins

While you're there, hit Beechworth where industry veterans Scott Daintry, Andrew Madden and chef Shauna Stockwell (ex-Stanley Hotel) have taken over the Empire Hotel to sling a sharp mod-Asian menu, cocktails and a hyper-local wine list compiled by asking 50 local winemakers to put forward their own favourite bottle.

Meanwhile Michael Ryan and Jeanette Henderson's Provenance is reopening on February 15 with a new look. Stage one of a renovation has seen new lighting installed, dimming the heritage dining room and putting focus on tables. Banquettes are coming in stage two and to match the new goat hair carpet Ryan says he'll be serving the beast for a "carpet to plate" philosophy.

Get alpine before silly snow season starts.

Reed and Co Distillery, 15 Wills Street, Bright, 0432 345 619; Empire Hotel, 10 Camp Street, Beechworth, empirehotelbeechworth.com.au; Provenance 86 Ford Street, Beechworth, theprovenance.com.au