Roslyn Grundy

The Van Haandel Group has announced it is moving the Stokehouse into the city temporarily while its St Kilda restaurant is rebuilt after the devastating January 18 fire.

The pop-up restaurant on the current site will close on May 11 to prepare for rebuilding, and Stokehouse City will open at 7 Alfred Place (currently Hotel Comme) in mid May. The new St Kilda restaurant is expected to be finished in early 2015.

"This is a great opportunity to be able to bring a taste of the Stokehouse to the city and an exciting challenge to rework the interior of Comme, to reference the energy and style of the Stokehouse," says Van Haandel Group general manager Anthony Musarra.

Melbourne designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb, who has worked on restaurants such as Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc and Sydney's Claude's and Monopole, will rework the interiors of the history-soaked Alfred Place building, built in 1885 for the German Club and once the home of the now-legendary Mietta's restaurant and salon.

The grand period rooms upstairs will house the relaxed fine-dining Stokehouse restaurant while the ground floor will become a more casual bar and eatery.

Comme will close on April 20.