Four mates are weeks away from living all young men's dreams of running a bar. What started as a conversation between builder Moses Tauelangi and Steve Tonkin turned into the pair joining forces with hospitality veterans Aaron Hoare and Angus Mathisen to transform an empty shopfront into an all-inclusive relaxing night venue. On Saturday, March 25, Chatterbox Lounge will throw open its doors at 269-271 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo in the Hargreaves Mall precinct. The 250-square-metre venue features two levels and was previously a Typo. Mr Tonkin said the vision was to have a cafe with takeaway meals during the day, and a bar accommodating 150 patrons at night. READ MORE: Hargreaves Mall needs new late night venue, Bendigo council told "[We want to bring] just a really good level of hospitality that's kind of a bit different to Bendigo. "We'll be having live DJs most weekends ... we just wanted to make a place you can go have a cocktail and just chat with your mates." Mr Tauelangi said it was no secret Hargreaves Mall was a controversial space, with several retail businesses moving out of the precinct and many shops remaining empty. He said the four Bendigo locals believed hospitality was the future of the space. "There's too many empty stores down here, it's not working the way it is and we all know it," he said. "We've all been here for a long time, we know it's not working and it's time to make a change." Although it's timeline has been pushed back, Mr Tauelangi said the proposed Accor Mantra Hotel played a factor in choosing the location. "It definitely drew us here," he said. "It was one of the big things we all talked about, having that running. "They keep moving the date, but once they actually do open we hope to be working alongside of them because we know their plans. "We're hoping they'll open, we'll be here and a lot of other people will follow suit." IN OTHER NEWS: Mr Hoare said he'd heard from businesses and people that more venues were being sought for lunches and after-work drinks, while retail stores may not have been suited to the area. "We can all acknowledge that brick and mortar clothing stores are harder to run at the moment and there's better places for them to be as far as shopping centers," he said. "It would be great to have an area where there could be multiple choices of bars and restaurants and places to go out to in Bendigo." The four are confident they could be the first of many new venues to move to Hargreaves Mall, and hope to ignite life and class to the precinct. "It's definitely not a flash in the pan thing," Mr Mathisen said. "We are here for a while and we are very committed to bringing some really high-class hospitality to Bendigo." Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with the Bendigo Advertiser app. Click here to download.