Food News

Andrew McConnell to open his first Melbourne restaurant in five years

It’s the latest addition to his recently baptised Trader House Restaurants group, and it's coming in early 2020.
Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell

Mark Roper

His flagship restaurants are almost synonymous with modern Melbourne dining, and the crumpets from Cumulus Inc are amongst the most sought-after brunch items in town. Now, riding high on the decade-long tenure of Cutler & Co, chef Andrew McConnell has announced he’ll open his first new venue in five years.

The to-be-named European-style restaurant and cocktail bar will be located on the ground floor of the elegant Cavendish House, a 1920s-era residential building on Russell Street in the Melbourne CBD.

It’s the room’s classic glamour – marble staircases, high ceilings, white columns – that convinced McConnell to launch a new establishment. “As soon as I walked in, I immediately could imagine enjoying a perfect martini in this timeless space,” he said in a statement. “The inherent design of the room made me think of a clubby European bistro that manages to be familiar and elegant at the same time”.

Sydney studio ACME has been commissioned to design the space, which will retain the original architectural features of the building while incorporating leather, linen, marble and brass finishes. It’s the studio’s first Melbourne project, having previously designed a string of Sydney venues including restaurant Fred’s, bar Charlie Parker’s and distillery Archie Rose.

The food and drink offering, too, will encapsulate the room’s old-world elegance: Italian cooking meets French technique, classic cocktails, and drink-friendly snacks.

The Russell Street restaurant is the latest addition to Trader House Restaurants, the recently baptised parent company to McConnell’s group of restaurants (including Cutler & Co, Marion, Supernormal and Builders Arm Hotel). Historically, his empire was informally referred to as the “McConnell Group”; the recent name change reflects the fact that the extended McConnell family (brothers Sean and Matt, and cousin Jason) have their own restaurants and hospitality projects.

The Russell Street restaurant is slated to open in early 2020.

Cavendish House, 33 Russell St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000

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