The Woolshed In Docklands Has Had A Revamp

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MELBOURNE | April 21st marked the first day The Woolshed reopened its doors after five months of renovations. The space suffered a significant fire in early November, rendering the space unusable. Making the most of a poor situation, the owners capitalised on the opportunity for reinvention and transformed the space from gastropub to multifaceted hospitality venue.

To celebrate the fresh start, The Woolshed hosted hundreds of their closest friends for a reopening party and we were thrilled to receive an invitation. I never believed that extravagant could be an understatement when describing a restaurant’s reopening. However, The Woolshed has proven the validity of never say never.

From arrival, not a moment was wasted to set the mood. Guests were greeted by a red carpet, fit with purple neon lights and the opportunity to have photos taken with two sheep, adorned in pearl necklaces, and a bandana fitted sheep dog.

The venue was converted for the night to host the crowd of attendees, showcasing the versatility of the space. It functions as both a restaurant and a gathering spot for formal and informal events, with the capacity to host up to 720 guests. Not straying too far from its roots as a wool storage facility, The Woolshed maintains its loft ceilings, rustic materials, and brass and tin finishes. The expansive views of the port are a focal point of the design and are truly remarkable when the skyline comes alive after sunset.

We enjoyed a night of live performances on The Woolshed’s sizable stage, drinks from the central bar, and plenty of finger food, alluding to the high calibre of their kitchen. But just as the space is versatile and flexible, The Woolshed has several different menus corresponding to the different uses of the space—from platter menus to grazing stations to a la carte. For the reopening, we enjoyed a taco station complete with slow cooked brisket, guacamole, shredded cheese, and a selection of sauces. My personal favorite, the fry station, allowed guests to fill a paper cone with sweet potato, crinkle cut or shoestring fries and then cover them in their choice of ketchup, mustard, or aioli. And rousing the nostalgia of my middle school appetite, tater tots (potato gems) were up for grabs as well.

Accompanying the fully stocked bar, The Woolshed’s cocktail list is an impressive five pages long. If not enticed by any of the 150 varietals of wine or draft and bottled beer (locally and internationally sourced, commercial and craft), take a pick from their six classic cocktails, a martini made with your choice of nine different gins, or even a jug to share.

I’m not sure if it’s after an electric violinist in a sequined dress played La Roux’s “Bulletproof” on top of a table or when the waiters rolled out with a platter of miniature beer mugs, but by the end of the night there was no room for doubt in my mind – The Woolshed team certainly know how to put on a good event, delivering exceptional service, food and entertainment. If the standard during regular days is at this level, the revamp will have definitely been worthwhile.

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Sarah
Sarah
Originally a native of Denver, Colorado, Sarah decided to pack up her backpack after university graduation and see how long she could live off of peanut butter sandwiches and cheap hostels. After exploring the streets of New Zealand and Iceland, she’s settled down in Melbourne in the hope of establishing a more sophisticated life. One way of getting there is pursuing her love of writing along with delving into the best of Melbourne’s food, bar, and music scene. When she’s not writing, chances are you’ll find her wandering the streets in her Birkenstocks, hunting for the ideal book-reading-cafe or live music venue. A vegetarian herself, she is particularly fond of all foods covered in nut butter, towering plates of vegetables, and [large] glasses of Pinot Noir.

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