“Whenever I take anyone, they walk in the doors and are, like, ‘Wow, what is this place?’ Everyone just wants to go back.”
At the time of publication, Garvan’s petition had so far drawn about 500 signatures.
“So many people are commenting that it should be heritage listed, that it’s an institution we can’t get rid of it,” she said.
Garvan said she would support updating some of the more dated parts of the pub’s interior as long as the unique features were preserved.
She feared the bistro would become a “man cave” full of TV screens that encourage betting, replacing the family-friendly atmosphere.
“It would be a huge loss,” she said. “On Saturday night it’s full of families and kids playing. It’s one of the only places you can go for a family meal where children stay entertained and you can have a drink.”
An Endeavor Group spokeswoman confirmed the pub’s bistro, which has not been refurbished for many years, would be renovated.
“We are still finalizing the new concept, but we are committed to ensuring that we bring each pub’s story to life in a way that is meaningful to the local community,” she said.
The company wants to find a new place for its popular features such as the statue of David. The plan is not to increase the size of the gaming room and the number of pokies machines.
Meg Denholm, a Brunswick local and fine art student, signed the petition because she felt the venue’s interior was “magic” and incomparable to anything else in Melbourne. “The kitschy grandiose decor of the Moreland bistro makes it one of my favorite venues on Sydney Road,” she said.
Denholm believed it represented Brunswick’s long connection with the artistic community and she hoped to see more gigs held at the space.
“The decor was built by a theater set company and artists were brought in to hand-paint the features,” she said.
“I think we have enough sports-themed venues.”
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