Mornane Place isn’t exactly the first spot that springs to mind when it comes to relaxed drink in Melbourne’s CBD. Whilst this bin-lined, dingy doesn’t scream sophistication and style just yet, an extreme makeover is just around the corner and is set to be in motion in early April.
The mastermind behind Melbourne hospitality institutions Grossi Florentino, Merchant and Ombra has taken to the streets, and is set to open a new wine bar in the most unusual of locations. Guy Grossi and Joe Jones of Romeo Lane, have teamed up to bring life back to Melbourne’s back streets with the opening of their new wine bar Arlechin.
At Arlechin, you can expect a moody, soft-lit space, suitable for both one-on-one dinners and group situations. The budding hotspot will seat 40 guests, making for an intimate experience full of playful character and authentic Melbourne laneway vibes.
Guy stumbled across the well-hidden gem last year during renovations on Florentino Grill. In need of a place to store the restaurant’s extensive wine collection, he took over a small tenancy in the gritty Mornane Place and transformed it into a fully functioning cellar. When the renovations were complete, Guy was inspired by the potential of the lane and decided to open up the cellar to the public. Whilst continuing to double as the cellar for Grossi Florentino, with waiters popping in and out for bottles for the restaurant, it will also be a place for guests to sit amongst and enjoy the grandeur of Guy’s collection.
Taking cues from the flagship restaurant just across the lane, the menu at Arlechin will feature refined yet decadent European-inspired bar food, designed to complement the ever-changing wine list. A cocktail selection specially curated by Joe will also feature, meeting the desires of every laneway lurker and pahsser-by.
The laneway’s transformation will also be aided by the City of Melbourne’s Love your Laneway Project. Guy and his team have been instrumental in encouraging renovations to the lane, and as a result, the council has directed funding towards street lighting.
Plans for the space have been kept well under wraps, with little decoration from the outset as of yet. However, with the help of Melbourne’s best-loved street artists, namely Mike Maka, Mornane Place is set to put back on the map of Melbourne’s already diverse laneway scene.
Arlechin is set to open its doors in early April, so watch this space. This is a transformation you’ll want to see first-hand.