Rock'n'roll:  Iain Hewitson at new venture Big Huey's Diner.
Rock'n'roll: Iain Hewitson at his new venture Big Huey's Diner. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Hilary McNevin and Roslyn Grundy

Chef and restaurateur Iain ''Huey'' Hewitson opened Big Huey's Diner in South Melbourne last week with business partners and front-of-house professionals Neil Prentice and Nic Hope.

Hewitson, who co-owns St Kilda's Barney Allen's, has a long-term partnership with Prentice dating from Champagne Charlie's in the 1980s, where Prentice worked for Huey; Hope was most recently Hewitson's bar manager at Barney Allen's. The three have taken over what was formerly the Red Star Cafe in Coventry Street.

Expect a dining room, designed by Hewitson, dedicated to 1950s and '60s rock'n'roll - a great passion of all the owners - including a 1959 Rock-Ola jukebox and images around the walls of performers from Jimi Hendrix to Tiny Tim. ''It's our version of an American-inspired diner,'' says Prentice, who, as a winemaker, will feature his label, Holly's Garden, on the drinks list. The menu includes ''po' boys, hush puppies, Reuben sandwich and the chip butty'', he says.

Big Huey's Diner is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am, with plans to open daily.

Details: 315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, bighueysdiner.com.au