Moon Dog will soon open the doors to its third and newest venue, Moon Dog Wild West, situated in the old Franco Cozzo building in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and putting a western spin on its signature hospitality experience.

Spanning three levels with capacity for up to 800 patrons, this will be Moon Dog’s biggest venue yet, and twice the size of the last venue, Moon Dog World in Preston.

Karl Van Buuren, Co-Founder of Moon Dog, said: “We’re so excited to join the vibrant Footscray community in such an iconic location. The support has been overwhelming, and we can’t wait to finally throw open the doors and welcome everyone in for a cold beer.”

Guests will enter the venue through swinging saloon doors to the ground floor bar which features horseshoe booths, a western arcade, The Kids’ Ranch and a private dining room, all centred around a bucking bull as the focal point of the room.

Moon Dog Brewing Brand Manager Marli Evans says the bucking bull will be a familiar touch for patrons of the OG brewery, where the bull made a regular appearance at events.

“When looking at a theme for our venues we really reflect on things that feel very Moon Dog and can become larger than life, as well as looking to our team for wild ideas and sometimes overly niche references. The Wild West theme was a perfect amalgamation of those things,” she explained.

“Design-wise, you’ll feel the western vibes in just about every corner of the place. Whether it’s the entry through the saloon doors to the bucking bull centrepiece or the rustic bars through the venue, the chaos of neons in the Honky Tonk bar, cacti all over the rooftop of the vintage pianola hiding in the bourbon bar.”

The Honky Tonk bar sits on the first floor of the venue, offering a live music stage inspired by the Blues Brothers, pool tables and a balcony outpost lounge, along with the hidden Pianola Bar.

On the final floor of Moon Dog Wild West, the rooftop offers views across the city with a cocktail bar and cantina, surrounded by rooftop cacti.

Joshua Uljans, Moon Dog CEO and Co-Founder, said: “With a venue of this size, we knew we could achieve something that hasn’t been seen before and really go bigger than we ever have. We’re hoping to create somewhere for people to enjoy the outrageousness of it all.”

“We want to bring something new to the Footscray community that has a little something for everyone, from family groups to hens and bucks to sporting clubs and everything and everyone in between. There truly is a little pocket for everyone,” added Evans.

Moon Dog’s wide range of craft beers and seltzers will be showcased across the venue, boasting more than 100 taps throughout, complemented by a selection of wines, spirits, cocktails and non-alcoholic offerings. At the helm of Chris Hysted-Adams, the cocktail and shot menu features Horseshoe Espresso Martinis, Tequila Sunrise Slushies and Cowboy Shots served in miniature cowboy boots.

The food offering is made up of gastropub classics such as burgers and parmas, also leaning into the western theme with dishes like sizzling fajitas, double decker tacos and a 1kg T-Bone steak.

“For the food and beverage offering, we’ve really been inspired by a tex-mex taste, while still including the pub favourites that we know and love,” says Evans.

“You can expect T-Bone steak with cowboy butter, tacos and ceviche served alongside the beloved parma.

“We’re really lucky to have three-times Australian Bartender of the Year Chris Hysted-Adams on our team, so alongside our range of beers we’ve curated a shots and cocktail list that has a real western feel, including Bloody Mary’s and an Old Fashioned of the Day served in a barrel.”

As the brewery continues to expand its Melbourne footprint, Moon Dog has plans to open two further venues in 2024. Doglands, set to hold over 1,500 patrons, is due to open on the Marvel Stadium concourse in July, while a Frankston venue set by the sea is also in the works.

According to Evans, the two new venues in Docklands and Frankston will still feel distinctively Moon Dog, but each with their own unique spin.

“We want all of our venues to provide something fresh and fun for the area and be a place where people can get together, have a drink and just enjoy the outrageousness of it all.”

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