The Arbory team is opening a five-level project in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Nick Bennett, executive chef of Arbory
Nick Bennett, executive chef of Arbory Photo: Arbory supplied

The hospitality group responsible for Melbourne's longest bar, Arbory at Flinders Station, and its Insta-bait floating sibling, Arbory Afloat, is getting ready to open a five-level eating and drinking leviathan in a glamorous one-time cigarette company at 270 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

The enormous venue will have capacity for 500 (pending restrictions). Similar in scope to the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, the five venues will operate independently and vary in offering from a casual bistro on the ground floor serving breakfast through to dinner, to a more serious restaurant and a rooftop bar for DJ sessions. Art installations will feature throughout.

The HQ Group's executive chef, Nick Bennett, will design the menus, while head chef Terry Clark has come across from The Source at MONA in Hobart to run the show.

The site of the Arbory team's ambitious new project, in Melbourne's Drewery Lane Precinct.
The site of the Arbory team's ambitious new project, in Melbourne's Drewery Lane Precinct. Photo: Simon Schiff

Designer Dion Hall, formerly part of Projects of Imagination, is working his magic on the landmark property, which was built in 1903 and has the kind of bones only cigarette money could buy.

The as-yet-unnamed venue is tipped to open in the first half of 2021, with more details to be revealed in the new year.