Geelong just gained another exciting new dining destination.
Set in the former Federal Woollen Mills, one of the city’s most iconic and historic buildings, and beneath the historic North Geelong smokestack, is a whimsical new restaurant laced with old-world charm.
A grand, all-occasions bistro, 1915 promises to be one of Geelong’s most unique dining and drinking experiences when it opens to the public on Thursday, July 1.
The key takeaways
- 1915 is the newest restaurant to open in Geelong
- Located in the Federal Mills Precinct, the venue has transformed a 100-year-old red-brick boiler house
- It opens to the public in July and will operate seven days a week
An ode to the year that the imposing and iconic façade of the former mill was completed by Australia’s first Labor Government, 1915 can be found within the red-brick boiler house at the heart of the precinct.
With a soaring two-storey conversion of the house, the iconic venue had lost none of its charm in the revamp – the new iteration proving to be a powerful dose of history infused with a modern spirit.
Polished concrete, lofty ceilings, bright pendant lighting, exposed beams, and weathered red brick feature across the open-plan with a grand staircase leading to a sweeping second floor. The airy space is bathed in light, providing the ideal atmosphere for indulging in fine-dining finesse on the Northside of town.
While the stunning fit-out is worthy of praise, the centrepiece of the new restaurant, though, is the kitchen.
The 1915 crew has recruited Anthony Siketa, Executive Chef at Russo Estate, to design the delicious, Mediterranean-inspired menu; and Chef Andy Symeonakis to craft the dishes each day, with a focus is on sourcing the best local ingredients to make this a truly unique and memorable experience.
Andy possesses an inherent passion for food and fresh produce, instilled in him from the age of 12 working under his father, head chef Jim Symeonakis at the Renmark Hotel in South Australia’s Riverland. He has since refined his culinary skills cooking for celebrities, sports legends and VIPs in iconic restaurants such as Wooloomooloo Wharf Kingsley’s Steak and Crab House in Sydney, Hellenic Republic in Melbourne, and most recently, the Lorne Hotel.
Bringing all this experience to 1915, you can expect Andy to be plating up top-notch local fare that will have you coming back for lunch and dinner time and time again.
With Anthony and Andy behind the wheel, the menu proves to be both inventive and elegant. Small plates include marinated olives, freshly shucked oysters, Hervey Bay scallops baked in their shell with garlic butter and herb crumb, San Daniele 18-month aged Prosciutto with roasted miso, mushroom arancini and flash-fried calamari.
For something a little heartier, the mains include Rangers Valley Black Angus, porterhouse steak or scotch fillet with rustic fries or mash, an ancient grain salad, or Barramundi fillet with baby potatoes in tomato, crostini and fennel salad. There’s also fluffy handmade gnocchi with Salerno tomato, pecorino parmesan and herb crumb, as well as roasted beetroot risotto or a nutritious Farmers bowl. Sides include buttered mash potato, chargrilled broccolini, green leaf salad and roasted pumpkin.
There’s also a pretty indulgent pizza menu with handmade Neapolitan style pizza bases and Salerno tomato – with gluten-free bases available on request! You’ll find toppings like garlic and herb, a traditional marg, pumpkin, mushroom, and a seafood pizza with scallops, tiger prawns, calamari and smoked pancetta. Our pick though is the San Daniele, topped with tomato, Fior di latte, 18-month Italian prosciutto, rocket and pecorino.
To finish, there’s a cheeseboard with chef-selected local market cheeses, and for the sweet tooths, there’s white chocolate cheesecake, a warm walnut and chocolate brownies, gelato, or a lemon curd with short bread crumb and meringue.
A striking feature of the venue is of course the brightly lit showcase wine cellar, which proudly displays special bottles from their extensive wine list. Curated by one of Australia’s most respected sommeliers, Jeremy Shiell, you’ll be pressed not to find something that you like with 150 local and international wines.
If you’re into beer, the team has sourced some of the finest craft beers they can get our hands on, from local small-batch to your more well-known labels. If you’re not a fan of craft beers, no fear, they will have all your CUB favourites on tap, ensuring that the breadth and quality of their amber offering really are “top-notch” all around.
As for the cocktails, well 1915 are in good company out at the Federal Mills precinct. Located in the distillery just next door, Anther Gin is renowned as one of Australia’s leading distillers, and it’s their own Sebastian Reaburn who have helped craft the exceptional cocktail list on offer. A highlight is the ‘Cherry Berry Goblin’; featuring Anther’s signature Cherry gin alongside flavours of berries and grapefruit, and finished with fresh mint and edible flowers. Beware, highly addictive!
Three years in the making, the arrival of 1915 has certainly been worth the wait.
1915 is located at BH2 / 33 Mackey Street, North Geelong, and is open Sunday to Wednesday from 11am – 10pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 1am.
Bookings are now open, with the restaurant set to launch on Thursday, July 1. You can book in here.