A local sommelier says he has submitted an application to include a wine bar facility within the new pavilion that will be built at Binnak Park as part of the North East Link project. Pierre Bisset claimed that the area would be perfect for the licensed venue, allowing local residents to enjoy a brief tipple while enjoying the scenic surrounds of the expansive nature reserve.

With Binnak Park now enjoying increased foot traffic due to the current COVID-19 lockdown, Bisset claims that many locals have been reminded of the natural beauty of the area, not to mention its unofficial role as the village square of Watsonia North. Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Bisset said, “This is it, this is the place for the wine bar. The last few weeks have reminded people of what lies right on their doorstep. Kids love it, and adults love it. So, imagine enjoying a nice glass of red on the deck there while your kids play on the oval or ride their bikes on all those new jumps.”

If approved, the pitch would have to swim against the tide of basically every liquor licensing rule in the book, as well as succeed where so many other proposals have failed, including at the new site at the end of Watsonia Road, a giant wine cask next to IGA, and the former Macorna Store. But Bisset remains optimistic, claiming the new business would help get the nation back on its feet after the current COVID-19 fight, providing jobs for locals and also encouraging a social outlet for Watsonians. He said, “This is the kind of lateral thinking that will be needed once the world returns to the new ‘normal’. I’ve outlined all the potential benefits of this idea, and I’m confident that the council will be on board.”