First, the bad news: Print Hall, GT's 2013 Wine List of the Year winner, will close the doors to its elegant dining room in March. The good news, however, is that the closure is only temporary, and following a series of renovations, Print Hall's flagship will reopen in mid to late August as a larger, more casual version of its current self. The especially good news? The restaurant will continue to continue to deliver the same two-star eating and drinking experience, or at least that's the line from Colonial Leisure Group, the owners of Print Hall.
"We don't see that changing," says Grady Patching, the group's national operations manager.
"We see us being two-star when we come out, but the modern style two-star, not the traditional two-star that it was."
Although Colonial is playing its cards very close to its chest, this much has been confirmed: the new menu will be taken in a "modern Australian-Asian fusion" direction; the finished restaurant will seat 130 people, a significant increase on its current 70-diner capacity, and the bar will become part of the dining experience rather than the virtually standalone venue it currently is.
"The best restaurants are very much about a modern, new and casual style of eating and that's what we're moving towards," says Patching.
So does this impending shift mean there'll be a fire sale on the restaurant's vino? Not quite, although Print Hall beverage director Jean-Charles Mahe says the list will be tweaked slightly to reflect the restaurant's new direction (read: less of a Mediterranean focus; more wines that play nicely with Asian spice).
"The shape of the list is going to change, but not what's inside," says Mahe.
"The focus will still be on being the best wine list in the country."
Print Hall will close March 12. A seven-course Last Supper degustation ($150) will be available on March 11 and 12.