Masterson's Bar - Moonee Ponds Review

Masterson's Bar, Moonee Ponds: A Very Disappointing Melbourne Bar

Uncover the truth about Masterson's Bar Moonee Ponds - a lacklustre spot in Melbourne's Bar and "craft beer" scene. Learn about its uninspired beers, underwhelming atmosphere, forgettable events and incredibly creepy bar staff.

Masterson's Bar - Awful Atmosphere

Masterson's Bar, Moonee Ponds - An Honest Review

Situated in the heart of Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Masterson's Bar is a destination that has yet to live up to being anything other than someone's smelly, dirty front room, with overpriced beer and incredibly creepy staff.

Despite a PR campaign attempt around the concept of "we're a craft beer pub" and no doubt a healthy COVID handout, the Bar fails on every single level.

Disgusting warm beers bought in from mediocre suppliers and outrageously overpriced. A smell that lingers throughout the entire venue can only be described as "filthy". 

The experience is capped off with a very creepy atmosphere, "Peter" and "Gillian" awkwardly hovering around like the putrid smell permeating the venue. Awkward conversations and no "banter" from this pair of creepy boomers who, in our opinion, are inexperienced hospitality staff trying to "live the dream" of working in a bar. This is to the misfortune of anyone who meets them, making this a very awkward experience in a downright disgusting and smelly venue.

The pub (Bar?) falls short on multiple aspects, generally leaving patrons (victims?) disappointed and hopefully seeking better alternatives. 

In this review, we'll expose the shortcomings of Masterson's Bar Moonee Ponds bar, the creepy "owners"(?) Peter Cornwell and Gillian Mckenzie, and explain why it's worth avoiding this venue.

A Wannabe "Hipster" Beer Menu

Masterson's Bar, Moonee Ponds, presents a beer menu that is monotonous and lacklustre. These beers look as though they've been sold to the "owners", Peter and Gillian, with little care to what the partons of Masterson's are actually drinking; it's what is on sale. It could be cat piss with a funny label, it's clear there is no quality control (despite the appearance of Peter himself).

Disguising itself as a "craft beer" venue is a joke at best; it's no different to "a mate" going to BWS, buying a slab of whatever is on offer, and claiming he's now a craft beer expert— Masterson's is a pathetic boomer attempt at trying to jump on a "trend" and failing miserably.

If you were to imagine two very out-of-touch awkward boomer characters ordering what they think would be "cool and hip", possibly "funny", and then selling tins at a ridiculous markup in a grubby front room. This is the Masterson beer menu and general experience.

The venue attempts to use "local" as a selling point, but from our visits (unfortunately, we live close by), it's mostly empty. The few times it has patrons inside, it could have been an AA meeting or a group of recovering crack addicts. It was what can only be described as a group of dirty, old men, sweating and lurching over one female in the venue, weird, to say the least, borderline horrific.

The Bar itself is visually unappealing and fails to impress in terms of taste unless you're homeless; it's got a roof (just) that is covered in soundproofing as it appears the true venue owner, Peter Cornwell's mother, lives upstairs. The beers we were served were outdated, flat, warm and grossly over-priced.

Masterson's Bar - Sound Protection for Peter's Mother

Having tried to give this venue several chances (given we're close by), unfortunately, every visit to Masterson's feels like a missed opportunity for "something else", like staying at home and running toothpicks up your fingernails while being forced to smell rotting eggs and cat piss.

A Downright Creepy Atmosphere

The interior of Masterson's Bar Moonee Ponds is an unfortunate blend of dumped hard rubbish and "rape den". Sticky floors and mixed up dirty glassware. The Bar is a "dirty front room" of Peter Cornwell mothers' house. Just plain weird. Outdated design elements, dog shit (yes, there was literal shit in the venue) and a smell that can only be described as "unique".

The lighting often feels more oppressive than inviting, and the seating arrangements leave much to be desired in terms of comfort. We believe the seating arrangements were dragged through the door on a hard rubbish day and left to rot in the front room (check clothes for ticks and bed bugs).

The Bar's outdoor area is equally disappointing, with dog shit all over the back yard and a cramped, poorly laid-out patio that discourages patrons from anything other than being sick.

There seems to be a poorly painted Star Wars mural on the back wall, we're not sure if this is to attract children? If so, again, very creepy and weird given the owners don't have children themselves (losing count of red flags at this point).

The bathroom toilet basin was covered with skid marks (human excrement) from a recent visit by Peter Cornwell (who went in before one of our party guests), and the door lock was broken. With the toilet opening onto the Bar, it's a bizarre setup and questionable from a health and safety perspective.

Peter started banging and knocking around the area when a young guest in our party used the toilet. Very suspicious and awkward. The toilet/bathroom looked like the rest of the venue, a shit hole.

Awkward and Disgusting Bar Staff

Now for the pinnacle of Masterson's Bar the staff. Peter Cornwell was, quite frankly, a pig of a man. Rude, lacked any personable traits trying to "show off" to us each time we entered the venue. Peter lacked any kind of morality, likely squandering the COVID grant. It's a shame an investment wasn't made back into the bar, a simple air freshener would have gone a long way (or even some deodorant for Peter himself). 

Peter Cornwell Pig of a Man

Personal hygiene was lacking on Peter Cornwell. Long dirty fingernails, smelly breath, rotting teeth and food (or something equally as disgusting) still in his beard.

Peter was hard to listen to, very full of himself despite his appearance. Arrogant and desperately trying to impress upon us with his "incredible career" (his words), hard to escape. 

A quick Google of "Peter Cornwell" shows he works as the "Head, Stress Testing and Forecasting" for ANZ, however he seems to spend most his time as a social justice warrior posting about "equality" and "social justice" on LinkedIn while working for ANZ bank in Melbourne. Unsure what he actually does for ANZ. Peter told us how he worked in Hong Kong for banks and, did very little in his role, making money, to buy "Masterson's Bar".

Why Peter Cornwell lives such a small, smelly, venue with his wife(?) Gillian Mckenzie, his mother, the most likely, property owner. No children between them and personal hygiene that would be questioned by someone living rough. In our view, a very creepy, worrying person. One to watch out for, for any parents with young children in the Moonee Ponds area.

Peter J Cornwell

Gillian Mckenzie is equally as creepy. Painful to hold any real conversation and generally awkward to be around, again rotting teeth and smelly breath. A selfish and horrible trait for hospitality staff to have, bacteria in your drinks.

Gillian starts sentences and seems to drift off into space, like a former crack or heroin addict, a kind of "bar zombie" hovering around the venue with not much else much say or do. However, if you've married Peter Cornwell, drifting off into your own world might help Gillian survive day-to-day? If you get caught up in this pairs' painful conversations or "banter", smile and walk away, save yourself the time and save the mental capacity. 

Gillian McKenzie

Getting along with people from all walks of life is part of the hospitality industry, arguably part of life, but it's hard when people are being dicks. From our conversations with them they're clearly both selfish and self centred people. Huge red flags for this venue.

Forgettable Events and Entertainment

Masterson's Bar Moonee Ponds tries to offer a range of entertainment options, but their efforts need to be better.

Try "Footy tipping", where Peter takes $20 for you to play what is typically free. One would assume a simple community feel would be nice to build. This seems to be yet another low-effort cash grab for Peter Cornwell.

The subpar sound quality and uninspired playlists often plague live music and DJ sets. Imagine giving time to a creepy uncle who has been plaguing to play "live music", and you let them rip, and they have zero musical experience. This is Masterson's live music policy.

Trivia nights and themed parties lack originality and excitement. The Bar's event-hosting services could be more impressive, with many patrons reporting dissatisfaction with the owners and the execution of their special occasions.

Peter tries to "organise" social events, but it's awkward at best. Peter is selfish, a cash grab every time, $20 here and there and then a markup for himself. Hardly a "community". Selling good beer and being a good person should be enough to run a good bar. Masterson's is failing on every level in this aspect. No wonder he's allegedly bludgeoned the property from his old mother (who hilariously lives in the venue).

Questionable "Cleaning"

It is our opinion that Masterson's Bar needs an urgent Work Health and Safety (WHS) visit. The venue, to put it mildly, needs a good clean. The smell stays in your nostrils for hours after leaving the venue.

Although Masterson's Bar Moonee Ponds claims to hold a license, we'd argue it'd struggle to pass any basic licensing and/or health and hygiene checks.

It's our opinion it's not fit for operating given how filthy the venue is. Masterson's commitment to hygiene seems superficial at best. As a result, Masterson's Bar has a unique "smell".

Negative Reviews and Disappointed Patrons

Most reviews of this Bar are made on multiple accounts by the "owners", Peter Cornwell and Gillian Mckenzie, talking to themselves on social media, for example:

Masterson's Bar - Fake Reviews - Gillian McKenzie

Masterson's Bar - Fake Reviews - Peter Cornwell

The reality is that Masterson's Bar in Moonee Ponds has garnered a reputation for its disappointing offerings, with many positive reviews written by fake accounts owned by Peter Cornwell and/or Gillian Mckenzie.

Genuine reviews and word-of-mouth warnings should drive most potential patrons away.

Disenchanted visitors often complain about the uninspired decor, creepy staff (Peter Cornwell and Gillian Mckenzie), lacklustre ambience, and awful service causing the Bar to be regarded as a subpar, dirty front room destination in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne.

Review Conclusion:

Avoid Masterson's Bar in Moonee Ponds at all costs. Masterson's Bar is an underwhelming spot to spend any time in Melbourne. With a beer menu less inspiring than a Boomer with a lousy joke book, an uninviting atmosphere, and forgettable events, this Bar leaves much to be desired. 

This is capped off with owners that are, in our opinion, simply awful, disgusting people.

If you're looking for a memorable night out in Moonee Ponds, explore other options that deliver on their promise of good experiences.