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FOOD & DRINK

Calia Has Opened the Doors to Its New Two-Storey Emporium Site

It's home to a gourmet grocer, modern Japanese restaurant and coffee bar.
By Libby Curran
November 09, 2020
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By Libby Curran
November 09, 2020
  shares

The grand opening of Calia's hotly anticipated Lonsdale Street store might have been slightly overshadowed by this year's pandemic. But the multi-faceted venue, complete with luxury grocer, bottle shop, cafe and eatery is now officially open and ready for action.

In late September, Calia made the move from its former Emporium digs to this two-level, 800-square-metre site most recently home to Top Shop. Now, with hospitality restrictions continuing to ease and the city starting to open up, the restaurant-to-retail brand's new home is finally getting a proper workout.

The sprawling space features a sleek fit-out by hospitality design firm Architect Eats, complete with blond timber accents and foliage cascading from the ceilings. As promised, an expansive retail selection features a hefty range of culinary-focused delights, both locally made and imported. You'll find gourmet groceries, homewares, premium Korean beauty products and a lineup of booze that includes plenty of rare Japanese whiskies.

The first floor plays host to a large dining space where you can tuck into bites from Calia's refined menu of modern Japanese fare. Top-notch produce from the likes of Robbins Island wagyu, Red Hill truffles and Yarra Valley caviar stars throughout, with dishes like spicy mapo tofu, salted egg yolk chicken and a signature wagyu bowl featuring top-grade A5 meat flown in from Japan. There are sweet treats from local favourites like Penny for Pound and Bibelot, while a coffee bar celebrates locally roasted blends alongside Calia's famed matcha-based and purple sweet potato drinks.

For now, COVID-19 restrictions mean there's reduced capacity and a one-hour time limit on dine-in tables, though when the site's fully operational it boasts space for around 150 diners. Pop your name in the virtual queue system to avoid waiting too long for a table.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has pressed pause on the much-hyped plans for an on-site urban cellar door done in conjunction with the Yarra Valley's Levantine Hill Estate. That element, complete with tastings and an extensive retail wine selection, is now set to launch a little further down the track.

Find Calia's new store at 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. It's open from 10am–9pm daily.

Published on November 09, 2020 by Libby Curran

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