Food News

Victor Churchill, the globally renowned Sydney fine butcher, opens its first Melbourne location

The Armadale shop has all of the quality meats and special flourishes of the Sydney original, plus some Melbourne-specific tweaks.
A wooden counter with marble countertops. Behind there are glass cabinets filled with dried and cured meats.

The counter at Victor Churchill Melbourne.

Paul Gosney

When Anthony Puharich opened Victor Churchill in Sydney 12 years ago, he didn’t anticipate the global recognition the butchery would receive. Now, with some time to reflect and grow, he’s brought the concept to Melbourne.

“They say, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ and Victor Churchill has been referred to as the most beautiful butcher shop in the world, so I’ve applied the same thinking,” says Puharich.

“But I never would have gotten away with a copcycat version of the Sydney shop. I had to give Melbourne their own thing. It’s got tweaks and improvements for them to feel proud of.”

The bar at Victor Churchill Melbourne. Photo: Paul Gosney

The familiarity of Churchill’s avant-garde meat market remains in all its marble-floored and copper-accented glory, with the spectacle of butchers at work and fat-marbled steaks arranged artfully, the scent of rotisserie-cooked chickens filling the room.

“You walk in and know it’s Victor Chuchill – Melbourne has the salt brick dry-ageing and the wooden chopping blocks; the butchers are still on display too. The single biggest difference is the 12-seater bar we’ve created,” says Puharich.

People will be able to take a seat and enjoy dry-aged steaks grilled over coals, or a selection of house-made charcuterie with a glass of Champagne or shiraz. Along with the obvious signatures, there are also brasserie-style starter plates, such as steak tartare, carpaccio, oysters and even lobster freshly plucked from the tank.

Charcuterie at Victor Churchill Melbourne. Photo: Pete Dillon

The evolution of the store hasn’t been linear or fast moving.

“I was meant to open Victor Churchill New York with Anthony Bourdain – I’d met Anthony when he was here filming No Reservations and we became friends,” says Puharich. The pair started planning, but reported leasing complications followed by Bourdain’s untimely death meant this plan never eventuated. “I didn’t think about expansion for a couple of years [after that],” says Puharich.

Eventually he began searching for the right location and building. A Melbourne shop made sense, given Vic’s Meats (the meat supply arm of the business) has been working with restaurants in the state for more than 17 years, including Flowerdrum, Grossi, Stokehouse, Attica, Brae, and MoVida.

“There’s all these great chefs that I’ve had long relationships with,” says Puharich. After relocating to Melbourne to ensure the smooth opening, Puharich is hopeful the reception of the High Street store in Armadale is as appreciated as Sydney has been.

“I love Melbourne, and they know their stuff down here,” says Puharich. “There’s a reason why they were next.”

Victor Churchill Melbourne

*953 High St, Armadale, Vic

Open from 9am–6pm Mon–Fri ; 8am–6pm Saturday; 9am–5pm Sunday*

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