Melbourne 12 hour Food + Design Guide

Melbourne 12 hour Food + Design Guide

by Felicia Eriksson

While having Gabby Lord visiting from Berlin earlier in the year, we decided to combine two of our favourite things, food and design. Lucky for us Melbourne is great at combining both. We spent a day in Melbourne’s inner north (Fitzroy, Collingwood and Northcote) and chatted to a few of our favourite venues, all designed (or at least in part) by Melbourne design teams and designers, to hear what that process was like.

Breakfast – All Are Welcome – 190 High Street, Northcote
The bakery is situated right next to the (in)famous 86 tram line in an old church space. Boris the baker makes breads and pastries on the premises daily and, not surprisingly for Melbourne, also serves up great coffee. It’s the perfect little breakfast spot and the Georgian savoury cheese tarts are worship worthy. The branding is the work of local designer Seb Godfrey of Open Season. The interior has retained many of the features from the old church – part of the altar is aptly located beneath the espresso machine. The branding also extends to the outside walls featuring big paste ups with a mix of religious messaging that changes regularly.

Skipping lunch we head straight for afternoon delights at – Piccolina Gelateria –  296 Smith Street, Collingwood
Curved tile benches and hand painted signage populate this gorgeous outfit, the product of local entrepreneur Sandra Fonti. Having a design background herself, Sandra worked together with friends at Projects of Imagination on the branding, and consulted Hecker Guthrie for the interiors. Sandra grew up making gelato at home with her dad, so when she decided she wanted to switch careers, the idea of starting her own Gelateria instantly felt right. The Collingwood space was a huge renovation project when Sandra took over the lease, they needed to remove about six tonnes of garbage before any work on the space could start. The approach to the interior design was a mix of restoring the space to its former charm with a touch of 1950’s southern Italy. The green, red and white in the branding is a reference to the Italian flag.

The watermelon granita is perfect for summer afternoons, and the pistachio gelato is superb. Everything is made from scratch with nothing but raw ingredients—no prefab. No one makes ice cream like this anymore, it’s a craft. “It’s about doing something ordinary in an extraordinary way” according to Sandra.

Sign-writing by: Supreme signs

Dinner – Hotel Jesus – 174 Smith Street, Collingwood
Impossible not to notice, this neon-lit Mexican Taqueria is so bright it almost hits you in the face when you enter. Owner Matt Lane, who has lived in Mexico himself and has another restaurant in Melbourne (Mamasita), met Creative Director James Brown of Mash when he travelled from South Australia to eat at Mamasita. They connected over their love for Mexico and Mexican food and this started a process that would span years, sharing inspiration and ideas for what would culminate with the making of Hotel Jesus.

Truly no shortcuts were taken when creating the space.  From the laminated menus, cream coloured plastic plates, custom-made replica tables, 70’s tiling, hand painted signage, neon signage, shrines to unknowing Mexican waiters, the specific type of stackable blue chairs to the unusual shape of the bar, everything had to be just right. A creative vision painstakingly planned and pursued. The hand-painted signage and advertisements representing the 60’s era of commercialisation and marketing that influenced Mexico at the time and still exists in these places today. The space is an amalgamation of the Mexican food scene, the 60’s ice cream parlours, the food stalls at the markets and the classic street taquerias.

Hotel Jesus is must see for any hungry designer.

More images of the space and the branding here: Hotel Jesus by Mash


Drinks – The Everleigh – Upstairs, 150-156 Gertrude Street Fitzroy
Hidden above a restaurant in the heart of Fitzroy lies this neighbourhood bar. It’s a New York inspired ‘Golden Era’ cocktail bar full of old-world charm where everyone is welcome. “We really want people to feel at ease, you can wear shorts here” says owner Zara Madrusan who, with her husband Michael, worked with Melbourne branding agency The Company You Keep on all things brand. They’ve even made a cocktail book (A spot at the Bar) and pre-mix cocktail range (The Everleigh Bottling Co) with the help of the team at TCYK. We had bartender Oscar fix us a favourite of his, the West End, made from Cocchi Americano, Cynar, peach bitters, sparkling wine, and an ice cube bearing a little ‘E’ insignia – yes, even the ice cubes are custom made.

Trivia: the chandelier above the bar belonged to Michael’s grandma, it was brought over from Italy and spent most of its life hidden away in an attic. Many of the old photographs around the bar are also of Michael’s grandmother and family. You really do feel welcomed at this bar, and the drinks are superb.

Felicia Eriksson

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#food #branding #graphicdesign