CBD Restaurateur Expands Into Booming Moonee Ponds

Posted on 07th February 2023

A CBD restaurateur has entered into a new venture to bring a new Asian fusion eatery and bar to Hall Street and in the fast-growing shopping, dining and lifestyle hub of Moonee Ponds.

Fitzroys’ Franklin Gikas and Ervin Niyaz negotiated the long 7+7-year lease at Shops 6 & 7, 40 Hall Street to the operator, who is involved with popular CBD restaurant Koi Koi and has recently embarked on another suburban venture in neighbouring Essendon, transforming Mr Charcoal into a gourmet takeaway offering.

Now, their third venue - a Thai-themed restaurant - is set to open up early this year in booming Moonee Ponds.

“Hall Street has transformed into an upbeat and lively location with a diverse range of restaurants and bars driving its gentrification. It’s been a key reason Moonee Ponds has fast become the major lifestyle destination of Melbourne’s north west,” Gikas said.

“The benefits of being surrounded by new and established hospitality ventures including Bekka, Julianna Cucina & Bar, Carosello, Chiba Japanese, and Macellaria were a major driving factor for the operator choosing this location.”

Niyaz said the location was successfully marketed and leased in a three-week period, with numerous offers from local and interstate hospitality operators looking to get a foothold in the Moonee Ponds market.

“Moonee Ponds is undergoing an unprecedented development boom that is seeing the residential and worker population surge, underpinning growth in trade through day and night.” The growth will be further supported by ongoing developments such as Penny Lane that will bring apartments, retail, hospitality and a Palace Cinema to the strip, and the future $2 billion commercial and residential overhaul of the nearby Moonee Valley Racecourse.

The lease for Shops 6 & 7, 40 Hall Street was struck at $85,000 per annum net. The 195sqm self-contained space features prominent corner exposure and dual access and was offered for lease with open plan dining space, bar and separate kitchen fit-outs, back-of-house storage and cool room spaces, and a liquor permit and license in place with a capacity for 102 patrons.

Niyaz said food and beverage had dominated suburban retail leasing over the past year - particularly for fitted-out, ready-to-go spaces - driving down vacancies across Melbourne’s major suburban shopping strips and precincts, according to Fitzroys’ Walk The Strip report. Puckle Street, adjacent to Hall Street and which anchors the Moonee Ponds lifestyle offering, saw vacancies come down to just 3.2%, among the lowest of Melbourne’s shopping strips.