Tiny, mighty Napier Quarter in Fitzroy's backstreets has big plans for 2019. Not only is co-owner Daniel Lewis building a boutique single residence guesthouse above the bluestone Fitzroy wine bar, he's lured Lume chef Eileen Horsnell to run the kitchen from January.
It's a change in plan for Horsnell. With Lume destined to become a more casual restaurant in 2019 after frontman Shaun Quade leaves for Los Angeles, she was pegged to head up a new CBD wine bar concept for the Lume restaurant group. But unfortunately, she says visions didn't align.
On the flip side, Horsnell worked with Lewis for four years at his Brisbane cafe-bistro Pearl and was previously Napier Quarter's chef for six months on moving to Melbourne. She says the time felt right to with get the band – herself, Lewis, and sommelier and manager Simon Benjamin – back together.
Horsnell, who was already consulting on Napier Quarter's menus, plans to continue with the thrust of simple wine-friendly dishes, merely sharpening some edges, adding new gadgets like a smoker, and boosting the house-made and grown produce focus. She will spend one day a week cultivating their new kitchen garden at Newstead and producing smallgoods.
Future plans may involve food experiences for guests of the accommodation, and the trio may later expand to the city together.
359 Napier Street, Fitzroy, 03 9416 0666, napierquarter.com.au