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Leading Australian brewer, Brick Lane Brewing, today announced it had been awarded the long-term lease for the well-known Mercat Cross Hotel in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market (QVM) precinct.
The lease extends the partnership between Brick Lane and QVM, which has been in place since the launch of Brick Lane in August 2018. During that time, Brick Lane and QVM have worked closely together with Brick Lane beers featuring at the seasonal Night Markets, launching Brick Lane Shed as the first permanent craft beer bar within the market precinct, and collaborated on the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
Following the lease agreement announced today Brick Lane and QVM now combine to launch Brick Lane Market in the most ambitious development undertaken within the revitalised QVM precinct, which attracts more than 10 million people each year.
As part of the $450 million redevelopment of the site on the corner of Queen and Therry Streets, the new Brick Lane Market site is a two-level former hotel with a historic façade offering over 700 sqm of bar and restaurant space. Brick Lane’s plans for the venue include a ground-floor bar featuring a large range of fresh and diverse beer styles, and an upper level with a restaurant driven by local market produce and an emphasis on sustainability, a casual terrace dining, and functions and live music areas.
Brick Lane Brewing Founder and CEO Paul Bowker said that securing the Mercat Cross Hotel lease will be a transformative step in the growth not only of Brick Lane, but also the broader Queen Victoria Market community.
“The development of a permanent and comprehensive offering at Queen Victoria Market is a great fit for Brick Lane and QVM in so many ways,” Mr Bowker said.
“Queen Victoria Market has been part of the fabric of Melbourne for over 140 years and Brick Lane has been fortunate to call it our home since we produced our first beer. Indeed, the first batch of kegs that left our brewery in August 2018 went straight to the taps for the QVM Winter Night Market.
“Inspired by the laneways of Melbourne, Brick Lane is all about community and inclusivity. It’s incredibly exciting to now launch Brick Lane Market as a new venue among the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s laneways and in the location where we poured our first kegs.
“In four years, Brick Lane has become the second-largest independent brewery by capacity after Coopers and one of the largest partner brewing operations in Australia. The development of a significant hospitality experience in the heart of Melbourne is the perfect platform for us to further celebrate Melbourne and Victoria’s renowned food and beverage industry. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Queen Victoria Market to deliver a world-class experience at one of Melbourne’s most iconic sites,” he said.
Stan Liacos, CEO of Queen Victoria Market, said: “We are delighted to be extending the market’s working partnership with Brick Lane at the largest and most prominent tenancy in the Market Precinct. Brick Lane is a natural fit for this venue, based on their vision for a fully integrated hospitality experience.
There is a clear alignment between our shared commitment to inclusivity, community and sustainability. We look forward to Brick Lane creating a bustling social anchor for the Market precinct.”
Work on the fitout will commence following approvals. The venue is expected to pour its first drinks in March 2023 with pop-up activations planned prior to Christmas.
Brick Lane has partnered on this project with leading design studio Techne Architecture + Interior Design.
Techne works across residential, commercial, hospitality and retail projects and will deliver a space that benefits the Market, its traders, the public, Brick Lane and the food and beverage community in Melbourne.
Established in 2018, Brick Lane has built one of the fastest-growing portfolios in Australia with brands including Brick Lane, Sunsetter Ginger Beer and the highly awarded Sidewinder no/low alcohol beers.
Brick Lane also operates one of the largest partner-brewing businesses in Australia with a focus on supporting and developing existing and new third-party brands from its state-of-the-art brewing facility also located in Melbourne.
Brick Lane has capacity to produce in excess of 20 million litres of beer from its existing Melbourne brewery. Brick Lane has recently completed a $50 million investment into the brewery delivering a cutting-edge brewery centred on sustainability, quality and efficiency.
Brick Lane has recently launched a warehouse and logistics business in a new 5,000 square metre facility allowing it to store and deliver beers direct from its site to customers and consumers, creating a truly vertically integrated brewing production, distribution, wholesale and hospitality business.