As we creep towards reopening some long-delayed plans are coming to fruition, while other businesses born in the lockdown are deciding to stick around.
You want to aim for an early walk-by of Giorgia McAllister Forte's weekends-only new viennoiserie in Carlton North. A pastry chef for a decade with a CV listing London's Violet by Claire Ptak and Boris Portnoy's All Are Welcome bakery, Forte's chestnut-ginger brownies, welsh rarebits and guanciale and parmesan croissants sell out daily, and early. Fri-Sat 8.30am-12.30pm (or sold out).
585a Canning Street, Carlton North, monforteviennoiserie.com.
Andrew McConnell's Marion will soon be transformed back into a star wine bar of Gertrude Street, and Morning Market, the bakery-grocer operation his team has been running from the site since March, will get its own permanent premises. From October 13, you'll find produce from Ramarro Farm, Schulz dairy and single-serve (OK, double) Basque cheesecakes at 59 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. morning.market
Hagen's at Gasometer
Nearby in Collingwood, specialist butcher Hagen's Organics last week took up residence in the Gasometer at 484 Smith Street. Hagen's Market will be selling organic meat, Damien Pike mushrooms, Mabu Mabu condiments, baked goods and plants at the Gaso until live music can resume. They're offering a 15 per cent discount to musicians and road crew. hagensorganics.com.au
Many Melbourne operators are frustrated by the alfresco plans, but Grant Smillie's Ponyfish Island, the Yarra River-based bar that has been doing open-air drinks for a decade, is doubling down on the idea. During lockdown it has had a significant facelift by Adelaide design firm Gram, which has finally built services into what started as a pop-up. That means beer on tap (finally!), a new seafood-focused menu and better seating, including new shaded banquettes. The bar will reopen in November, pending construction. ponyfish.com.au