Get up close and personal with football stars, comedians, Australian champions, and rockstars.
‘An Evening With’ is the region’s newest event series for the young, old and everyone in between, featuring some of Australia’s most notable and intriguing celebrities.
Founders & Co, a well-loved family-friendly restaurant in the heart of Lara, is moving into the events space with their brilliant new conversation series, designed to inject life into the town and give people in the region something new to indulge in.
The key takeaways
- Founders & Co in Lara is hosting a new event series featuring celebrities
- The ‘Evening With’ series will host the likes of Dane Swan, Matthew Richardson and Brian Mannix
- The series kicks off in July and will continue throughout the rest of the year, into 2022
Kicking off in July, the series has already enlisted a slew of worthy guests, including the likes of Matthew Richardson, Dane Swan, Christian Petracca, and James Worpel for the footy fans; Melbourne comedian Fiona O’Loughlin; Australian cricket great and Fox Sports commentator Kerry O’Keeffe; and for the music fans, they’ve also got the exuberant frontman of the Uncanny X Men, Brian Mannix.
Since opening in late 2018, Founders & Co has built its business around becoming an integral part of the Lara community. Started by three friends – Jordan McFadden, Ricky Howling and Stephen Power – the cosy, contemporary eatery has become a regular dining destination for Lara local and Geelong residents alike.
Boasting timber furnishings, polished concrete floors, lashes of greenery and a monochromatic interior, the bright and airy space is entirely laid-pack, perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a family do, business lunch or date night.
The majority of the dishes are inspired by well-loved dishes at the Bannockburn and Winchelsea venues, including the likes of salt and pepper calamari, Railway risotto, house-made arancini, and a southern fried chicken burger. Other highlights include the chicken and chorizo linguine, Thai Beef Salad, loaded nachos, crispy skin Atlantic salmon, and the 300g premium Angus porterhouse. There are also six different kinds of parmis available any day of the week – from the cheeseburger and the pulled beef to the satay and the ‘Speedy Gonzalas’ made with chilli con Carne.
Continuing to build upon their success and navigate a time where people are craving entertainment, Howling (who also owns well-loved pubs The Barwon Hotel and Bannockburn Railway Hotel alongside Power) wanted to offer something new to the Lara community.
“This was very much an opportunity born out of the covid environment,” Howling explains.
“Emerging from the first and second lockdown, all venues found themselves on an evening playing field in terms of venue capacities etc, which essentially meant that we had access to artists and talent that previously would have been out of our reach.
“As a result, we took that opportunity to start booking some big names in Australian music at our Bannockburn and Winchelsea venues, and after how well that took off and the success of those initial events, our thoughts quickly turned to how we could make something like this work at our Lara venue.”
Inspired by the success of the intimate performances and events at Bannockburn and Winchelsea (which has already hosted the likes of Southern Son’s Jack Jones, The Androids’ Tim Henwood, ‘90s legends The Badloves, just to name a few), Howling established the ‘An Evening With’ concept.
Taking into consideration the Lara venue’s smaller size in comparison and the fact that live music would be limited to acoustic sessions only, this event series was the perfect pivot, providing unique conversation-driven evenings that will not only entertain, but also provoke deep, insightful and rare discussion.
Each night will feature a delicious two-course dinner (showcasing the restaurants signature dishes) alongside a conversation styled interview between Howling and the special guest, as well as a Q&A where guests will have the opportunity to bring up any burning questions or curiosities. There will also be silent auctions and live raffles, and guests who purchase VIP tickets get to dine exclusively at the guest’s table for the evening.
Hosting conversations with experts or pioneers in their field, these events won’t be just your usual interview. Instead, the guests promise stories from behind the scenes of their career, with some that only a few people would have heard before. In an event that promises to shake up your evenings, expect hard-hitting questions with no topics off-limits, amplified by full production and expert staging from the venue.
“These type of intimate tell-all interviews and up close and personal experiences with talent will be the first of their kind in Lara,” Howling says.
“At this stage, we have a full calendar up until the end of this year and have some exciting shows in the works for 2022, including branching out from ‘An Evening With’ to include some intimate acoustic sessions and stand-up comedy sessions.”
Located in Lara, just a 20-minute drive from Geelong, Founders & Co ‘An Evening With’ series kicks off on Thursday, July 22 with Matthew Richardson. Check out the full list of upcoming events here and keep an eye out for further exciting additions to the lineup.
For more info, visit the Founders & Co website.