Publican swoops on ex-train station first class lounge

The 500 square metre site abuts South Yarra station.


Publican and coffee house owner Julien Moussi has snapped up what could be his highest profile property – a former train station first class passenger lounge in South Yarra.

The unrenovated, vacant two storey c1860 building at 163 Toorak Road, once forming part of the neighbouring South Yarra station, collected in the high $3-millions.

A downstairs bar at 163 Toorak Road.

Occupation is planned; there is 432 square metres including a large downstairs space configured with a bar running alongside.

Expected to open by the end of next year and also serve woodfire inspired food, an application will now me made with Metro to connect the bar to the platform.

The venue should accommodate about 300.

The South Yarra property (outlined) sold for nearly $4 million.

Following a private auction, Mr Moussi outbid other occupiers, investors and developers; the 500 sqm site – relatively large for the suburb – zoned Activity Centre 1, was marketed for its airspace development upside.

Elsewhere in the area, Bill McNee’s Vicland is proposing to replace airspace on train tracks across the road – a property known as 162 and 164 Toorak Rd – with an office and retail complex around a public space.

The Sass brothers’ Oreana Property meanwhile is intending a major hospitality based mixed use complex on a collection of sites in the pocket, at the north east corner of Toorak Rd and Yarra Street, acquired in 2021 (story continues below).

Julien Moussi established Only Hospitality after a football career.

Jones Real Estate marketing agents Paul Jones, Luke Peric and Sam Guest declined to comment.

Business of beer, coffee and property

Mr Moussi, via his Only Hospitality Group, has a track record buying prominent middle-ring suburban properties, often ex-milk bars, to repurpose as hospitality venues.

One, in McKinnon, cost the executive and former professional footballer $1.1m in late 2022. Others have sold with a leaseback for a premium including in recent years, at Vermont and Mount Waverley.

In April we reported Mr Moussi paid $3.8m for the freehold to Collingwood’s ex-Robert Burns Hotel. That off-market deal came three years after the businessman bought the leasehold, which would have expired in 2037.

The executive is also behind coffee roaster Inglewood.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of