For the first time in decades, the prominent balcony of the Beechworth building once known as the Central Hotel will be made publicly accessible.
Renovations are underway to transform the building on the corner of Ford and Camp streets, diagonally opposite to the Post Office, into Miss Amelie Gourmet Beechworth.
Co-owners David Kapay and Ken Little have been overseeing the works in collaboration with the building's owner.
"It wasn't for sale or for rent, but it was here not being used," Mr Little said.
"So we started the conversation with the owner and David and I came and looked at and said, 'Wouldn't this just be sensational?'"
Mr Little said the design had been sensitive to heritage and he hoped an opening in the week before Christmas, pending some final council approvals, would fulfill the owner's vision of returning people to the balcony.
"A big kitchen in here would be devastating for the building ... we haven't done that," he said.
"It is an iconic building; the balcony will be a big feature."
This feature was once the source of the building's near-destruction, according to Burke Museum records.
Nobblers and Lushingtons states the hotel, built by by Frederick Dreyer in 1869, nearly burnt down in 1911 when "Chinese lanterns for the Coronation illuminations" fell onto the balcony and started a fire.
The building has been known as: The Corner Hotel, The Dreyer's Hotel, Central Hotel, Astor Cafe and The Dolphin Cafe.
Kapay hopes to seat more than 100 across the two floors when Miss Amelie Gourmet opens.
"We will start in the morning with the beautiful French pastries ... and will be offering all of our products, such as take-home meals and pies," he said.
"Come afternoons we hope to have charcuteries, cheese, bread and dips ... and a nice local wine and beers selection.
"With a little jazz band in the corner, it will set the main street alight."
Miss Amelie Gourmet, inspired by Kapay's Wodonga restaurant, is at Albury but is also in a Ritchies IGA in Mornington Peninsula and North East Victorian cafes.
Kapay said word had quickly got around about Miss Amelie Gourmet's Beechworth store.
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"Last Saturday night in the restaurant, a Beechworth family with a young daughter who was looking for work were asking about it," he said.
"We will be looking to staff the business with locals.
"This will be another good outlet for us to grow our brand, with people coming here for tourism and taking out products home with them."
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