Soundproofed walls were part of the brief for the interior design of Mr Big Stuff, the new soul food 50-seater in the city, where Senoritas once stood. The place is named after the 1971 song by Jean Knight; DJs play on Thursday to Saturday nights, hence the soundproofing.
Owners are friends Adam Ong and Michael Chen (of the bar Golden Monkey on Lonsdale Street), Lazaros Papasavas, Hasan Sharif and Andrew Montell. Parisian-born Louis Naepels, most recently of Grossi Florentino, heads the kitchen. He has adapted his training to produce thoughtfully executed soul-food flourishes in fried chicken and waffles, cornbread and mac'n'cheese. Other dishes "are our interpretation of soul food," says Chen. They include dishes such as mussels with okra, bacon and coriander. Drinks are a quirky mix of cocktails and boutique wines and beers. Open Monday to Saturday from 6pm, with plans for lunch soon.
Mr Big Stuff, 16 Meyers Place, Melbourne, 9639 7411, mrbigstuff.com.au.