It’s the last weekend for The Broadsheet Restaurant in Melbourne, so get along to Fitzroy before it pops down…
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
Pop-ups are getting cannier, and The Broadsheet Restaurant in Melbourne is no exception. After a successful eight-week stint, this stylish Fitzroy space runs until 4pm this Sunday, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a drink to sample its wares (no bookings 'natch). The all-day diner is the brainchild of savvy city listings and lifestyle website Broadsheet, which covers Melbourne and Sydney. So just why is it a sign of creative pop-ups to come? Here are our five tips for pop-up perfection:
1: Local, not global
'From the coffee to the cocktails, the fit-out to the furniture and most importantly the menu, The Broadsheet Restaurant represents the best of Melbourne.' Keeping things local keeps things interesting, and it helps that the location – on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy – ticks the on-trend box.
It's all in the edit, and the restaurant represents the best of the city's drinking and dining, from favourite dishes to best-loved coffee brews and creative cocktails. It's a showcase for Melbourne's most cutting-edge café owners, restaurateurs, baristas and mixologists, and a rare chance to see their work curated together for simple sampling. Delicious dishes on offer come from Anada, Auction Rooms, Coda, Estelle Bistro, Five Points Deli, Grain Store, Huxtable, The Kettle Black, Monsieur Truffe, Philippa Sibley, Pidapipo, Pierre Roelofs, Tivoli Road Bakery, TONKA, Top Paddock and The Town Mouse. How does twice-baked Brioche French toast grab you for breakfast, with fennel poached pears and pear and burnt caramel sorbet? A lunch of roasted yellow duck curry with jasmine rice, or a dinner of cider-poached chicken with pickled pumpkin and spiced cauliflower? And who can say no to a dessert of baked chocolate espresso mousse with cardamon cumquats and cookie crumble?
A pop-up is only as good as its collaborators. The Broadsheet Restaurant has teamed up with Small Batch to provide the coffee, with a roster of local roasters. Drinks come care of Fitzroy cocktail kings The Everleigh, who launched four classic bottled cocktails – a Negroni, Martini, Manhattan and Old-Fashioned – at the pop-up, while new South Melbourne fine-diner Lûmé's Sally Humble drew up the wine list, starring interesting local bottles and beers. Welcome drinks in the evening are by 2015 World Class Bartender of the Year Jack Sotti.
With restaurant and bar interiors at risk of looking increasingly generic, it pays to choose design partners wisely. Branding studio The Company You Keep designed the Broadsheet Restaurant with architects Therefore Studio, a young Fitzroy practice led by Alex Lake (we liked their work on Tall Timber cafe in Prahran). The resulting look is industrial but warm and sensual, with a clean-lined palette of wood, metal and concrete, graphic pendant lights, and fresh colours from white to blue-grey. There's a choice of intimate tables or convivial stools around a central counter (bar snacks are served). DesignFizz favourite Robert Gordon, a Melbourne-based ceramacist known for minimal, modern stoneware pieces, crafted the neutral-hued, tactile crockery. Indoor furniture hails from Dowel Jones, including the timber and tubular steel 'Full Hurdle' chairs and 'Hurdle' high stools. Bold Australian outdoor furniture specialists Tait, which has stores in Melbourne and Sydney, provided kit for the deck.
An appealing space needs the X-Factor – atmosphere – and it helps that here Gertrude Street's respected Northside Records supplied the tunes to keep the good times rolling. Soothing landscape photos by Melbourne's Brooke Holm adorn the walls and plants are by Glasshaus, whose signature green styling taps into that indoor-outdoor feel. In a dramatic touch, branches are suspended from the ceiling while verdant potted trees dot the space. They look a little like Christmas trees, and at this foodie-friendly pop-up Christmas has definitely come early...
The Broadsheet Restaurant is at 166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, until 4pm Sunday 2 August 2015. Photography by Brook James