Because, we all need something to look forward to.
2021 has already been an explosive year for food and drink and there’s lots of evidence to show it’s only going to get better here in the Geelong region.
Here are some of upcoming openings to get excited about:
Gami Chicken & Beer
Hailed as some of the ‘best-fried chicken in Melbourne’ for a number of years now (seriously Google it), Gami Chicken & Beer is bringing their signature Korean fried chicken to Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre this September.
Cooked to order using the highest quality ingredients, Gami Fried Chicken is made with a unique golden-ratio 17 herbs-mixed seasoning and comes in four distinct flavours—original, sweet chilli, spicy and garlic and honey—you can settle for just one or grab half and half if you can’t decide.
Gami is also commended for thinking of the vegos with the fried soy meat option. The chook-less option uses the same crispy batter as above, and is particularly good with the spicy sauce.
The KGC will be a main feature at the Geelong store, which will offer both dine-in, takeaway and home delivery service, alongside a whole bunch of Korean goodies on offer like fish cake soup, dumplings, chicken ribs, potato heaven, cheese sticks and kimchi pancakes if you’re not in the mood for fried chicken.
There will also be 10 choices of beer on offer including their own speciality beer, as well as five Korean wine options, cider and a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.
According to the plans, the business would offer 56-seats (32 patrons indoor and 24 patrons outdoor), serving seated patrons only – no bar or standing area will be available.
The restaurant is located opposite Coles and would be open 11am to 11pm daily.
You can read more here.
Hold on to your hats and loosen your belt buckles, because Huxtaburger is coming to Geelong, marking its first store opening in regional Victoria.
Since opening its first burger joint in Collingwood in 2011, Huxtaburger has become one of Melbourne’s best and more top-notch gourmet burger spots, and now it’s set to open at the former site of Armageddon Cakes and Tomi Lounge in Malop St.
According to the Geelong Addy, the cult store has slapped full-length stickers across the former site, including a big ‘now hiring’ sign, while spruiking live music, events, cocktails and tap beer and, of course, burgers.
According to the liquor licence application stuck to the window of the venue, the future Huxtaburger venue aims to open from 11am to 10pm Sunday to Wednesday, 11am to 1am Fridays and Saturdays.
Keeping the burgers simple and lip-smackingly good is the moto behind Huxtaburger and we’re pretty keen to wrap our hands around these creations when they land in Geelong in the not-too-distant future.
Read more about it here.
Splatters Cheese Bar
Since finding out about this new late-night ‘cheese worshipping’ restaurant and bar, we’ve literally been counting down the seconds until its opening.
Set to open in the former pharmacy on Pakington Street in the not-too-distant future (but lockdowns are making that difficult to determine), this venue will see local purveyors of cheese Splatters open a fully-licensed restaurant on Pakington Street, boasting a conveyor belt of cheeses. Yes, a cheese train. A damn cheese train – Australia’s first. Is this not the greatest thing to ever happen?!
The venue will consist of three dine-in areas – the cheese train, restaurant and cheese garden, according to the documents. It will open from Sunday to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays it intends to operate from 11am to 1am the following day.
We imagine the cheese train aspect will see punters taking a seat bar side for them to gaze longingly into the perpetually rotating belt of cheesy goodness. Like a sushi train, we’re thinking cheese lovers will be able to take their pick from a tonne of cheese varieties.
Rest assured, we’ll let you know when this baby swings open the doors.
Where: 168 Pakington Street, Geelong West
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Non Disclosure Bar
This one’s for the cocktail lovers out there. Courtesy of Australian hospitality veteran, Gorge Camorra, the brains behind Geelong’s famed 1920s Prohibition-style cocktail bar The 18th Amendment and the New York-style sister venue Manhattan Bar, comes Non Disclosure Bar, an entirely new venue set to open in the heart of town.
With the same speakeasy style locals have come to love at 18th Amendment, Non Disclosure is set to have that same old-world America feel, but with a touch of Gatsby thrown in and an incredible Art Deco style, transporting you to another world, cocktail in hand.
It will be an intimate affair with just 42 seats, and you can expect high-class finishes, rare and delicious spirits and world-class service – as well as a Martini cart that comes to your table, a cheese trolley, plus fresh oysters and charcuterie for those that like to snack!
The venue is set due to open soon (pending lockdown) so keep your eyes on their socials.
Where: Little Malop Street, Geelong
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Meet Me At Mary’s
This one’s for those keen to return to Pakington Street.
Meet Me At Mary’s is the new name, brand and restaurant from the people behind Zigfrids, which closed its doors earlier this year.
The venue, a once prime dinner date destination, revealed plans for a reinvention of its business after having been forced to close its doors on three separate occasions over the past 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions placed on hospitality venues.
Under the plans submitted to the City of Greater Geelong, the Pakington Street venue have been approved for their idea to transform the space into a wine bar.
With the changes, the venue will continue to serve food, including tapas and bites, as well as selling alcohol for consumption both on and off the premises – just as all good wine bars do!
Under the proposal, Zigfrids seeks to increase operating hours, while maintaining the same capacity of 120 patrons.
A wine bar that’s open late and has a top-notch finger food – what more could you want?
Currently hiring staff, our bets are on that opening date isn’t too far away.
Where: 66 Pakington Street, Geelong West
This one has just hit our radar and already we’re bubbling with excitement for what’s to come.
Fusing beauty and hospitality, Bubbles Bar is a new venture for Blush Bar, a Pakington-street salon that has made a name for themselves for providing locals with professional makeup services, hairstyling, colour and body beautification.
While we don’t have much information, other than an incredibly bright and playful mood board, bets are that Bubbles Bar will be located within Blush Bar (perhaps as an extension), offering its clients an array of hair and makeup services accompanied by some absolutely classic cocktails and delicious beverages, and perhaps a space for people to just come and enjoy a drink in a bright new atmosphere.
We promise we’ll report more as soon as more info becomes available.
Where: 320 Pakington St, Newtown
Smashville Chicken and Burgers
Well well well, look who is bringing spicy Nashville-style fried chicken to Newcomb?!
Coming to you from the Mulita BBQ squad, Smashville is a new venue set to open in the not-too-distant future.
Here, you’ll find a range of out-of-this-world delicious burgers including the ‘Quad Smash’ and the signature Nashville Hot Chicken burger, plus some of the best fried chicken in the city. You’ll be gnawing the bones to get at the last morsels of meat with these.
There’s also scope for beers too, with the venue revealing their intention to apply for a liquor license too.
Where: 54 Charles Street, Newcomb
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This is one venue we’ve come to love over the past seven months for their simple cheese-laden, juicy cheeseburgers.
Thanks to renowned Igni and Hot Chicken Project chef-restaurateur Aaron Turner, OK. Smash was a retro sports bar specialising in cheeseburgers and champagne on Pakington Street with a simple yet entirely delicious menu.
For $20, there were two options – a Classic Cheeseburger (beef, American cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard) or an Oklahoma Smash Cheeseburger (beef, American cheese, onions, pickles and sauce), and both come with a double patty and fries.
Made with a blend of dry-aged chuck and brisket, the burgers are ‘smashed’ to order. There’s even the option to add on extra fries and ranch, blue cheese or Frank’s hot sauce (Hot Chicken Project fans will be well acquainted with these) – in case you’re feeling extra peckish.
Operating as a pop-up, the venue has currently closed the store on Little Malop Street and are in search for a permanent location. Or they’ve found one. We’re not exactly sure yet, but we’ve been assured that the venue will be back and we’re so ready for when they do.
In the meantime, they have been popping up at HCP during lockdown for takeaway.
Keep your eyes on their socials for updates.
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Californian-born franchise Taco Bell has unveiled plans to open in town, with the Mexican-inspired restaurant lodging plans to build a store in Norlane.
According to the Addy, developers of the proposed Taco Bell store have submitted their plans to the City of Greater Geelong to build a $1.5m outlet on three parcels of residential land on the Princes Highway in Norlane, with the need to demolish houses on two of the lots.
“The subject site is located within a residential precinct on the periphery of a large commercial/industrial precinct south of the Norlane Town Centre on a major arterial road,” planning documents noted.
“Taco Bell has been appointed as the end user of the Convenience Restaurant with this proposal seeking to expand their current restaurant offerings into the Geelong market.”
The new store would be open from 6am to midnight daily under the plans, and would create an estimated 15 to 20 jobs during operation.
Keep an eye out as we add more to this running list. Know of a new venue coming? Let us know here.