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Victorian hospitality veteran Matt Nikakis will open a new bar in the restored church hall

By on March 11, 2022 0

A new local bar breathes new life into the historic old Trinity Hall on the corner of Brighton Road and Chapel Street in St Kilda. Its opening is scheduled for early April.

Originally Holy Trinity Church Hall, established in 1925, the building has long been a gathering place for the local community. Today, owner Matt Nikakis continues his legacy with a beer garden, event space, and rotation of food trucks.

As a third-generation hospitality veteran with two hotels under its belt, Trinity is Nikakis’ first purely food and beverage-focused business.

“My grandfather George came from Greece in 1920 and owned a cafe in the town,” he says.

“My father Nick devoted his life to hospitality, later becoming president of the Australian Hotels Association for many years. Now, as a third generation publican, I am proud of my family name and the years that we spent in the hospitality industry.

As well as twelve draft beers, the bar menu will feature a selection of Australian wines and signature cocktails, as well as a wide range of non-alcoholic options.

Matt Nikakis in his new venture, Trinity.

Trinity’s entrance is marked by its red brick exterior, signature arched doorways and the gleaming silver airflow that sits in front of them. Nikakis has renovated the trailer to function as a functional food truck, offering a thoughtful range of burgers and bar bites. The rest of the spacious front yard is set aside for two additional food trucks that will rotate nightly.

The interior has undergone a complete makeover, including the addition of lush green cabins, copper beer tanks and a deep blue bar that runs the length of the main room. Meanwhile, the original hardwood trusses and iconic windows of the parish hall have been restored to pristine condition.

What was once a community performance space is now a private mezzanine with its own separate bar. Ideal for special events, the window-lined room offers stunning views of Trinity’s main entrance as well as the bluestone facade of Holy Trinity Church, which sits just behind the room in the same block .

Also out back is a small yard and children’s play area, with a 1960s wooden ski boat tucked into the sandbox.

“A throwback to old-school monk’s beers, church dances and school parties, the design takes inspiration from the history and community of Holy Trinity Hall and reinvents this venue for the next generation of Holy Trinity Hall communities. St Kilda, Elwood and Elsternwick,” says Luke. Ponti of BSPN, the architects and interior designers behind the redevelopment, who recently completed Melbourne CBD’s recent Covid Safe outdoor catering activation.

Pet-friendly and child-friendly with a capacity of 300, Trinity is fast becoming a landmark in Melbourne’s hospitality scene.

“It’s a place that will make all demographics comfortable and welcome,” says Nikakis.

Opening hours
Sunday to Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.