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Stokehouse in St Kilda burns to the ground

The Van Haandel Group’s beachfront Melbourne venue burnt to the ground on Friday night after a devastating kitchen fire.

The Friday night blaze at Stokehouse
Image courtesy of ABC news

A Van Haandel Group spokesperson told SPICE that the company plans to rebuild the venue and in the meantime, is working to either move existing bookings to other venues, postponing or refunding event deposits.

In a statement released on Saturday, The Van Haandel Group expressed its distress. A spokesperson said, “We are totally devastated that our beloved Stokehouse was lost in last night’s fire, however, extremely relieved that nobody was injured throughout the event.


“It was only 18 months ago that we closed to undergo a major five month renovation to reinvent downstairs into Stokehouse Café, and since, we have had our most successful year on record.


“We would like to send a huge thank you to our Stokehouse team for successfully evacuating 200 guests to safety. Their professionalism and passion have again proven that they are our greatest assets.


“We would also like to thank the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Victorian Police and all other emergency services who assisted throughout the night.


“We have been completely blown away by the incredible generosity, kind words of support and love that we have received from around the world, but particularly from the Australian community, hospitality industry and the Van Haandel Group family.


“We plan to regroup and rebuild the icon that was due to celebrate its 25th birthday this year. The Van Haandel Group is a strong and professional operation, and as of Monday we will commence planning to bring back the Stokehouse on St Kilda Beach”.