Landmark Brunswick pub Sarah Sands Hotel returns

Doors opened Saturday, 12 June.  

Landmark Brunswick pub Sarah Sands Hotel re-opened to the public on Saturday, 12 June, following an extensive renovation project valued at circa $3million. The pub has been closed since 2017, and returns to the neighbourhood under new operators, Melbourne-based food & beverage hospitality group Australian Venue Co.

Established in 1854, Sarah Sands Hotel has a long history in Melbourne. Over the years, the pub has operated under many names and concepts, but in 2021 will return to its original name and purpose as a quintessential local pub.

Re-opening celebrations will run over the “Welcome Weekend”, from Friday, 25 June to Sunday, 27 June. Customers will receive complimentary Chefs Snacks with their first drink purchase from 5pm–7pm and every dinner reservation for 4 people or more will receive a complimentary round of desserts. 

Sarah Sands Hotel will launch with a classic line-up of weekly pub specials, including vegetarian alternatives for Parma Night & Sunday Roast to reflect modern preferences. In light of capacity restrictions as lockdown eases, these specials will launch on 1 July.

The trusty pub Meat Raffle has been reinvented, with a farm-fresh box of fruits & vegetables up for grabs every Friday. Customers can purchase a raffle ticket using mobile ordering, with all proceeds going to local not-for-profit organisation QueerSpace, which programs events and services for the LGBTQIA+ community. The first raffle will be on Friday, 18 June.

Executive Chef Telina Menzies’ menu is anchored by high-quality pub classics and hearty, flavourful vegetarian mains. Menzies has taken inspiration from more than 15+ years working in pubs across Australia, to create a menu that feels comforting and nostalgic while also offering fresh, flavourful dishes that showcase native ingredients and reflect modern dining trends.

“It’s a little bit nostalgic and a little bit new. I want people to feel at home right away at Sarah Sands, but also keep things fresh and help make everyday occasions with friends and family feel a bit special,” said Menzies.

The menu’s snacks include scorched Padrón peppers with Geraldton wax vinegar and sea salt; Keen’s buttermilk fried chicken with native mountain pepper and tamarind yoghurt; pink pepper calamari with smoked paprika mayo, lemon and saltbush; and a generous grazing plate with house pork & pistachio terrine, cold cuts, local smoked cheese, house pickles, chef’s sourdough, garlic & herb bread and cultured butter.

Classic pub counter meals include a steak & ale pie with braised Victorian beef, mushy peas and buttered mash; a classic chicken parma; an eggplant parma; meat or plant-based cheeseburgers; and fish & chips with baby gem salad, malt pickled onions and rustic chips.

Of the eight pizzas available, half are vegetarian, and every vegetarian pizza can be made vegan on request. Alongside the classic margherita, vegetarian pizzas available are the Zucchini, Pumpkin and Potato pizzas, with Prawn, Prosciutto, Pork and “The Devil” pizzas available for meat lovers.

Desserts are simple and nostalgic, with a banana split, oozy choccy pud and 3-milk flan.

Signature cocktails include the Wattleseed Espresso Martini, the Davidson Plum Sour with Four Pillars Shiraz Gin and the Lemon Myrtle Drop. A range of four seasonal spritzes will launch with Lavender & Baby’s Breath, Strawberry & Mint, Watermelon & Lime and Wild Blueberry & Fresh Berry spritz. There will be ten beers & ciders available on tap, complemented by an extensive tinny & bottle list of local and international beers and ciders.

Australian Venue Co has worked with architects Studio Y to breathe new life into Sarah Sands Hotel, while preserving the character and heritage features of the venue. On the ground floor, customers will find a warm and inviting public bar with brass details and traditional timber panelling, including fins on the bar, an intimate 38-seat dining room and a private dining room that seats 20. A winter-friendly, enclosed courtyard and second private dining room that seats 16 complete the first floor, which overlooks the lively intersection of Brunswick Road & Sydney Road. The second floor has a stunning green and grey traditional print tiled floor in the second bar and a light-filled atrium featuring a mural by Loretta Lizzio.

Sarah Sands Hotel will trade for lunch & dinner, 7 days a week. Doors open 5pm, Saturday, 12 June.

Welcome Weekend: Friday, 25 June to Sunday, 27 June
  •  Complimentary Chefs Snacks with first drink purchase, 5pm–7pm
  •  Complimentary dessert per person with every dinner reservation for groups
      of 4 or more

Sarah Sands Hotel’s Weekly Specials: Launching 1 July:
  •  Happy Hour: $6 house wines, $7 house spirits & $8 house pints from 4pm–
      6pm, Monday to Friday
  •  Monday Parma Night:  $20 Chicken or Eggplant Parma, with chips & salad
  •  Tuesday Steak Night: $20 Chef’s selection steak with chips & salad
  •  Wednesday: $15 pizza & trivia
  •  Sunday Roast: Available all day, with a rotating selection of a classic roast
      and vegetarian roast

Sarah Sands Hotel
29 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC 3056
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