Secret Sausage Business - Raising the Bar

By: Sara Grazia

As some of you may have worked out, over the past couple of months we have been busy redeveloping an historic Melbourne building into our new Sausage HQ.

Our new Sausage HQ will be the pinnacle of sausage making technology, flavours and all things mouth-wateringly scrumptious. We will be opening phase one of our redevelopment in just under a weeks’ time ready for the first of our 2015 courses. Our next phase – and to some the most exciting part of our redevelopment, will be opening in mid-April with our official opening at the beginning of May.

Sausages Made Simple - The BeginningSausages Made Simple - The Beginning

In the beginning:

Late last year, with the growing popularity of our sausage, salami and cured meats making courses, we embarked on a mission to find a new Sausage HQ. High on the list of requirements was more space so that Sausage HQ could be everything we needed to make our sausage, salami and cured meat making experiences even more exciting for enthusiasts, hobbyist and commercial producers.

It was a lengthy search but eventually a palace was claimed. Built in the 1800’s with a very colourful and fascinating past, the former Railway Hotel in West Melbourne was chosen to be the hub of our sausage kingdom. Although the location is technically “West Melbourne”, it is just meters from the North Melbourne train station, and just a short drive from our previous location.

118 Ireland St, West Melbourne VIC 3003

Retaining many of its original features, our new Sausage HQ will house our tasting bar plus a few other exciting things that we will share with you as time goes on – or better yet, things you can come and experience for yourself very soon!

To start with the upstairs area looked like this, a blank canvas retaining many period features…

Sausages Made Simple - A Proud Tradition

Powered by a good strong English breakfast and an Italian pastry our Sausage HQ started its transformation.

The heritage tasting bar was the place to start. A stunning art deco bar, hand crafted in Tasmanian oak featuring the original lead-light detail that was installed in 1913. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and over the next few weeks a stunning transformation occurred as years of neglect were peeled away.

Sausages Made Simple - Tea TimeSausages Made Simple - Sanding The BarSausages Made Simple - Sanding The Bar

It took 10 days and 120 litres of paint stripper (eco-friendly of course) just to remove the old varnish and wood stain. This was followed by a week of sanding and an unfortunate event that accidentally set off the buildings fire alarms – before our 100 year old bar was reborn. The following fortnight was a combination of varnishing and sanding, varnishing and more sanding until... 

Sausages Made Simple - Sanding CompleteSausages Made Simple - The Dusty SausageSausages Made Simple - Beautiful Stained Glass

The final touch was having the deco stained class repaired, cleaned and installed giving this handcrafted beauty back its original Victorian splendour.

With our new tasting bar complete, the theme continued around the rest of the main bar area reviving all the original oak features – benches, shelves, doors and door frames. Weeks and kilograms of sawdust later, the refurbishment was coming along brilliantly.

Sausages Made Simple - Historic SurprisesSausages Made Simple - SignageSausages Made Simple - Lighting Up SausageSausages Made Simple - Looking In

Our window signage was installed, our light box put in place, all gold and glittering reflecting the heritage of this amazing Victorian site. Paint colours were chosen and some hidden original gems found under stair treads and between walls, were cleaned up and ready to be put back on show.

A few ‘mod cons’ like internet connection have been installed to keep us connected to you, and some amazing new technology has been introduced.

We are very excited and proud of the work we have undertaken to date, and look forward to the next phase of redevelopment. We’ll keep you posted!

If you’re in Melbourne we wold love to see you at Sausage HQ!

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