Due to open in summer 2020, Andrew McConnell’s new restaurant is located in the heart of Melbourne at Cavendish House, 33 Russell Street
The building itself plays a huge role in the decision to open another establishment, Andrew’s first in five years. “As soon as I walked in, I immediately could imagine enjoying a perfect martini in this timeless space,” explains Andrew. “The inherent design of the room made me think of a clubby European bistro that manages to be familiar and elegant at the same time.” The restaurant will reference the history and nostalgia of the 1920s heritage building. The original architectural features will remain and create a natural backdrop for the European restaurant and cocktail bar.
ACME was chosen to work on the project for their impressive body of work and holistic approach to design. Vince Alafaci from ACME commented: “Our collaboration with Andrew is a celebration of the space and his offering. The context creates the narrative where patrons engage in a journey immersed within a sensory experience.” This new addition to Andrew’s Trader House Restaurants family will be the agency’s first project in Melbourne. The idea is to create an immediate permanence in the restaurant’s mood and feel. The restoration of the room will use rich and tactile finishes of leather, linen, marble and brass. Seating will range from high stools at the bar to cosy booths with a generous private room for special occasions. The colours and textures will create an old-world elegance and well-worn feeling of familiarity.
A lifetime of experiences, a love of hospitality and a passion for design and architecture are the foundations on which the restaurant will be built. Guests will be able to enjoy dining at the cocktail bar or choose one of the tables, banquettes or private areas. The menu will embrace the confidence of Italian regional cooking, classic elements of French technique, flavours of Spain and the hearty comfort dishes from the British Isles. The traditional à la carte structure will remain flexible enough to enjoy a starter as a side or share a selection of appetisers over a drink. One menu will feature throughout the entire venue. The cocktail bar will anchor the heart of the restaurant with clean, classic cocktails and exciting new beverage offerings.
The as-yet unnamed restaurant is scheduled to open in summer 2020.