Moon Dog’s Wild West venue gets go ahead after squabble with council 

April 26, 2024
By Cody Profaca

After its already-delayed Wednesday 17 April launch date was postponed by a fire-hydrant mixup, Moon Dog’s much anticipated Wild West brewpub has finally been able to open its door to the public.

“We’re so excited to join the vibrant Footscray community in such an iconic location,” said Karl van Buuren, Co-Founder of Moon Dog.

“The support has been overwhelming, and we can’t wait to finally throw open the doors and welcome everyone in for a cold beer.”

Moon Dog’s new Melbourne venue spans 1000-square metres across three levels, has more than 100 beer taps, and has the capacity to hold up to 800 patrons. 

True to its western theme, expect spaces such as a Honky Tonk bar complete with Blues Brothers-inspired stage, balcony outpost lounge, secret Pianola Bar and function space, and top-floor rooftop bar. 

“With a venue of this size, we knew we could achieve something that hasn’t been seen before and really go bigger than we ever have,” said Joshua Uljans, Moon Dog’s CEO & Co-Founder.

“We’re hoping to create somewhere for people to enjoy the outrageousness of it all.”

In addition to its range of craft beers and seltzers, expect a variety of wines, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic offerings. Highlights of the Chris Hysted-Adams-curatedcocktail/shot menu include the Tequila Sunrise Slushies and the Cowboy Shots served in miniature cowboy boots.

The food menu mixes food inspired by the western theme with Australian pub classics and includes parmas, burgers, fajitas, double-decker tacos, and a 1kg T-bone steak.

Last Wednesday’s cancellation spurred controversy after Moon Dog initially misunderstood certain paperwork requirements necessary prior to opening. After Moon Dog were told they were unable to open to public trade 10 minutes ahead of its scheduled launch party, the brewery incorrectly accused the local council of being responsible for the call.

“Council wishes to clarify the cancellation of the opening of Moon Dog Wild West in Footscray was not a result of any Council action,” read a Maribyrnong City Council statement published the next day. 

“Our understanding is that earlier this week, Moon Dog’s private building surveyor, who is responsible for issuing the relevant building permits and the certificate of occupancy required for the venue to trade, had flagged issues with the fire hydrant and booster cabinet, as the works had not been carried out in accordance with the relevant Building Regulations 2018.

“Council is disappointed that the cancellation of the opening has been misrepresented by Moon Dog as being a decision made by Council, especially given how closely we have worked with them throughout the planning and construction process.”

Moon Dog has subsequently acknowledged its misunderstanding of the interaction and has since worked with Maribyrnong Council, fire engineers and its building surveyor to resolve all pending issues prior to launch. 

The Wild West brewpub is just one of two new Moon Dog venues set to be opening this year, with Doglands on the Marvel Stadium concourse expected to open in July with a capacity to hold 1,500+ patrons. Moon Dog has also started working on a sea-side Frankston venue, with more details expected to be made public soon.

For more information, visit the venue’s dedicated webpage.

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