WORK on the historic Beehive building is under way and owner Craig Lightfoot faces the challenge of finding a tenant that can take on an ambitious ground floor food business that will regularly change its offerings through pop-up restaurants.

Construction group DBG has boarded up the entrance to Allan’s Walk and under way is the work of stripping out parts of the interior, restoring historic features, and at a later stage, fitting out the space.

Mr Lightfoot and DBG co-owner Brett Marris are thinking unconventionally about the restoration of the building’s interior, which first served as a stock exchange.

They are testing whether 3D printing can recreate some of the metal and timber features that need replacing in the building, including the cast iron stairwell balustrades, some of which are missing.

Mr Lightfoot’s ideas for the ground floor of the historic building are just as unconventional.

He said he had already shown the idea to the co-founder of Welcome to Thornbury, the giant beer garden and food truck park which hosts a rotating list of food trucks from around Melbourne and Geelong.

Mr Lightfoot said Scott Assender loved the idea and the space at the Beehive, but was not yet ready for the venture.

He is confident of filling the tenancy which will also include a bar, room for dining and space set aside for functions.

Mr Lightfoot thinks work will be complete in the first half of next year.

DBG’s portfolio includes the National Gallery of Victoria and project work in historic buildings.