The Bendigo Cup will give the city's hotels their first chance to host events since re-opening under Victoria's vaccinated economy.
The prospect of hosting 100 racing fans feels like Christmas for the Foundry Hotel and Mister Bob's Sports Bar co-owner Sonya Kuchel.
"We are expecting about 100 people for our event," she said.
"It is lovely to have the staff and team back on deck and enjoy a feeling of normality.
"Everyone is so excited to go out again but it is with trepidation because you always hope you're not the next tier one site with the volume of people you can have through. But it is very exciting and the roadmap seems very achievable."
Ms Kuchel said the Bendigo Cup will give the venue a chance to properly unveil Miss Molly's - a new palm beach-themed bar.
The white and pink cocktail bar is part of a renovation completed by The Foundry.
It features a retractable roof and is classified as an outdoor area.
Everyone coming in is in a fabulous headspace from wanting to catch up with family and friends.Sonya Kuchel
"We started in April, 2020, so it has taken nearly two years from the planning stage," she said.
"We saw a gap in the market and wanted to do it properly. Mr Bobs is popular but we are opening up for the girls.
"It brings a bit of Melbourne to Bendigo and is a nice space with a palm beach-vibe. We wanted to have a nice, safe space for women to catch up after lockdown.
"Importantly, it is classified as an outdoor area. Because we don't have a non-enclosed yard, we have been limited with the density limits in the (Mr Bob's) courtyard."
The Foundry's huge floor space, which can cater for 700 people, was closed for Victoria's lockdowns.
Ms Kuchel said the bistro was able to re-open recently.
"Like a lot of venues we are struggling for staff, so we are crawling before we run," she said. "We were only allowed 25 in last week, then went to 60 in the outdoor spaces.
"Everyone coming in is in a fabulous headspace from wanting to catch up with family and friends.
"Miss Molly's has enabled us to get few more patrons in an outside area but it is also a brand new market."
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