Bendigo’s beloved local spot, Ghosty's Diner, has recently reopened with a brand new concept and design. Formerly a toasty bar, the diner underwent a major renovation earlier this year to become a retro-inspired Americana hotspot with a late 80’s style decor and menu."
After spending a good part of the life of the business adapting to COVID-19, we realised that it had become very transactional with a main focus on getting people in, selling a product, and then out as quickly as possible," said owner Nick Styles. "The space itself had become very tired and inhospitable and lost its soul. We wanted to get back to that and started to develop the concept of a diner.
"The inspiration for the change came from a desire to return to the original driving values of creating a comfortable, inviting atmosphere where everyone could hang out. The space was revitalised with the help of Lach Philp from Weekdays Design, with the attention to detail evident in every element of the diner, which is entirely custom. The result is a vibrant colour scheme of orange and brown hues, paired with retro-inspired furnishings and artwork, creating a warm and inviting ambiance.
Complementing the interiors, the diner features artwork by Magnum photographers in the 80s, such as Martin Parr, Alec Soth, and Thomas Hoepker, which inspired the owner's photography work before opening the diner. There is also a dot print framed piece by Tony Irving of the Oakleigh Motel that garners a bit of attention.
The menu is focused on casual dining and familiarity, drawing on Americana as a reference point and using the best local ingredients. Unique dishes include the F.G.T. Sandwich with crispy panko crumbed green tomatoes as the main hero that are a little new for people but seem to be finding fans quickly. Being a bar as well, the diner offers a range of cocktails including punch bowls for a shared boozy booth session, minimal intervention wines, and Love Shack Brewery beers on tap.
Aside from the diner, visitors to Bendigo will find plenty to do in the area. The Art Gallery is currently featuring the Australiana exhibition, which includes works by renowned photographer Rennie Ellis and artist Ken Done. With neighbors including Hotel Earnest, Wine Bank, and Harvest Food & Wine, there's no surprise that Bendigo has been named the City of Gastronomy by the UN.
Looking ahead, Ghosty's Diner has plans to build a mini Vegas-style chapel out the back of the diner in a spacious outdoor car park area where shotgun and casual weddings, as well as other events, can be held later in the year. The owner hopes to provide a space where locals can have a casual option for their special events.Ghosty's Diner is located at 35 View Street, Bendigo 3550 and is now open to customers.
Come to Ghosty's Diner for a nostalgic trip down memory lane and stay for the mouthwatering dishes, refreshing drinks that guarantee a good time.