Maribyrnong City Council Approves Moon Dog’s Transformation of Franco Cozzo Showroom

Maribyrnong City Council has given the go-ahead for Moon Dog brewery’s ambitious plan to convert Footscray’s iconic Franco Cozzo furniture showroom into a vibrant multi-level bar and music venue. The council’s initial refusal of the planning permit had sparked a wave of criticism on social media, with some locals eager to see the transformation take place.

The council has now declared that safety concerns have been resolved, and a planning permit will soon be issued, pending approval by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. In a joint agreement between the council and the brewery, Moon Dog has made modifications to address concerns over the capacity and safety of the venue.

Under the revised plan, the capacity of the venue has been reduced from the original proposal of 900 to accommodate 800 patrons. To address potential risks associated with crowd management, Moon Dog has committed to progressively reducing the occupancy every hour from 10 pm until closing time. This approach aims to minimize the potential dangers that could arise from a large number of people exiting the premises all at once.

Additionally, fencing and the footpath adjacent to Shelley Street will be upgraded, further ensuring the safety of patrons. Moon Dog co-founder Josh Uljans expressed his satisfaction with the revisions, stating that they have effectively addressed concerns regarding the safety of the venue’s surroundings.

Moon Dog’s commitment to maintaining the iconic Franco Cozzo signage and mural, as well as creating a dedicated area with furniture reminiscent of the famous store, has been well-received. Mayor Sarah Carter expressed delight in welcoming Moon Dog to Footscray and commended the brewery for their willingness to address community concerns.

While some residents may still have concerns about potential noise from the venue, Carter assured the public that roadworks are already underway to improve pedestrian safety and mitigate possible disruptions.

With an opening date yet to be announced, Moon Dog is eager to see their vision come to life in the transformed Franco Cozzo showroom. The brewery anticipates a swift construction process, ensuring that the venue will be operational well before the end of next year.


1. Was Moon Dog’s initial planning permit denied?

Yes, Maribyrnong City Council initially refused Moon Dog’s application for the conversion of the Franco Cozzo showroom into a bar and music venue.

2. What were the reasons for the denial?

The council cited concerns over risks to vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, as well as potential impacts on the area’s overall amenity.

3. How has the proposal been modified to address these concerns?

Moon Dog has agreed to reduce the venue’s capacity from 900 to 800 patrons. They have also committed to gradually decreasing occupancy from 10 pm until closing time to ensure safe crowd management. Additionally, upgrades will be made to fencing and the footpath adjacent to Shelley Street.

4. When will the venue be open?

The opening date has yet to be announced, but Moon Dog is confident that the construction process will be brief, allowing the venue to be operational well before the end of next year.