The Arbory Crew's New Multi-Level HER Building Has Opened, Featuring Four Venues in One

The ambitious Lonsdale Street project boasts a 'listening bar', smoky Thai canteen, French-inspired all-day cocktail joint and a buzzy rooftop.
James Shackell
Published on February 10, 2022

She's finally here, guys. HER — four levels of food, music, booze and OTT interior design from the crew who brought you Arbory and Arbory Afloat — has officially opened its doors at 270 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne's CBD. Brace yourselves.

We've been patiently waiting for this one since December 2020 (seriously, what is time anymore? What year is it? We've lost all track…). Obviously, things take longer to materialise when there's a global pandemic strangling supply chains and whatnot, but regardless of the wait, HER has transformed the old Federation Building into four levels of awesomeness, each with its own distinct flavour.

Parker Blain

As the Arbory guys put it: "HER is an entire building dedicated to the things Melbourne loves — fiery dining, immersive art and a vinyl soundtrack".

Down at street level, you've got HER Bar, with its Parisian décor, solid collection of gins and aperitifs, and an all-day French grazing menu, courtesy of Arbory's Executive Chef, Nick Bennett, and Head Chef, Josh Rudd. Expect a truckload of pomme frites down here.

Wander up the bluestone-paved "vertical walkway" and you come to Music Room: an entire floor dedicated to tunes, with scheduled DJ residencies and plenty of space to chill and vibe. Looking around at the moody LED underlighting and retro vinyl stacked behind the bar, this place feels more like Tokyo or Berlin than Melbourne.

Parker Blain

Next level up, you've got BKK, a smoky Thai BBQ joint with an open kitchen, open flames, exposed brick everywhere and a glowing neon bar. This one should slot nicely into Melbourne's late-night eatery scene, with barbecue pork jowl, vegan laab with crispy eggplant and a selection of curries flying off the pass. No bookings in here, either. Just sizzle and lots of sound.

Lastly, if you're still able to move at this point, we've got HER Rooftop Bar, "a world of its own, to sip sundowners and dance the night away". Her Rooftop will be kicking on till 1am, with some truly epic CBD views. There are even death star-ish heaters looming everywhere, so winter won't be a problem. Cocktails are the name of the game up here, and Tom Byrne, General Manager of HQ Group, has designed some doozies. Our picks are the Paloma, served on ice with ruby pink grapefruit, the burnt pineapple margaritas (yum), or the bitter espresso martinis.

HER is open as of right now. You can check it out inside the old Federation Building at 270 Lonsdale Street. See you there (we'll be the ones hanging out in the Music Room, pretending to be cool. Come and say hi).

Published on February 10, 2022 by James Shackell
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