The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

 

Melbourne can be a tough town to conquer if you’re a restaurant or a bar, and often establishments need to evolve to stay relevant. It’s a big call, but we may have an “institution in the making” which is heralded by the recent refurbishment and opening of The George on Collins. Hecker Guthrie have transformed the former suit-heavy hotspot, The Longroom, into this new social drinking and dining destination that plans to go head-to-head with other notable restaurants and bars in Melbourne’s CBD.

This brooding yet sophisticated establishment is nestled in the basement level of the iconic Georges building which was considered one of Melbourne’s finest shopping locations in its heyday. According to Hamish Guthrie, “Georges traditionally represented an honest and refined sensibility, from the architecture of the building, to its discerning clientele. Patrons today still crave all of the style and service it has inherently always possessed, and The George on Collins will deliver this and more.”

Starting afresh, the entire space was gutted and peeled back to the original architecture of the former department store. The result is a celebration of exposed heritage brick and additional recycled brick to complete the warm, earthy atmosphere. Guthrie elaborates that the design “employs a refined simplicity, juxtaposing the monastic purity of the overall architectural forms, with a landscape of bespoke joinery and furniture. It is intelligently transformed to allow for impeccable hospitality and service from both the bar and the kitchen.”

 

See more projects by Hecker Guthrie on Yellowtrace.

 

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie. Photo by Earl Carter | Yellowtrace

 

The space is divided into several sections that accommodate the all-day needs of the restaurant where breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night drinks are available seven days a week. There is a casual dining area, exclusive VIP room and an impressive bar that rises from the granite floors.

The material palette embraces the subterranean setting with the mix of granite, dark timber and brick; and the choice of furniture, fabrics and lighting create a sense of warmth. Seating is opulent, comfortable and perfectly designed for drinking, dining and conversing from day-to-night, with Beetle bar stools by Gubi, and cognac lux Casablanca leather banquettes. Surrounded by soft sheer curtains, the private dining room includes a handpicked selection of abstract and somewhat over-scaled furniture pieces that are presented as artworks. This unexpected exhibition features a bold fifty armchair by Ligne Roset and white fluffy fur Botolo dining chair by Arflex.

The significant revamp of The George on Collins invites patrons from a broader demographic to enjoy the multifunctional space while also catering to the corporate crowds who have been the foundation of success. This luxurious yet paired back space is ultimately about quality, character and embracing the historical significance of the venue. And for that, Melbourne welcomes you with open arms!

 

See more projects by Hecker Guthrie on Yellowtrace.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Hecker Guthrie. Photography by Earl Carter & Simon Shiff.]

 

About The Author

Fenina Acance
Contributor

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

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