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FOOD & DRINK

Dexter Team to Open Two New Ambitious Melbourne Venues

A Preston cocktail bar doing pizza by the slice, and an epic three-storey CBD venue. We broke it down.
By Marissa Ciampi
May 23, 2017
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Dexter Team to Open Two New Ambitious Melbourne Venues

A Preston cocktail bar doing pizza by the slice, and an epic three-storey CBD venue. We broke it down.
By Marissa Ciampi
May 23, 2017
  shares

The masterminds behind Dexter Meat & Buns are taking their 'no rules approach' to American barbecue to the next level. They're opening two new venues: a Preston cocktail bar, dubbed Take Away Pizza, and a three-level CBD location, named Dexter Meat, Liquor & Roof, within the year. Looks like co-owners Sam Peasnell and head chefs and co-owners Tom Peasnell (Pitt Cue Co, London) and Adam Goldblatt (Homeslice, London) are going to have their hands full.

Take Away Pizza is up first, with construction already under way and completion planned for this spring. The small, casual joint will be located across the road from Dexter Meat & Buns, offering cocktails and, you guessed it, pizza-by-the-slice. The space will also feature a front courtyard and a late-night, 1am license on Fridays and Saturdays. This dive bar meets pizza den has been in the works for a while now. "We were actually going to do pizza at the first Dexter location, considering Adam's background at Homeslice, but Tom's barbecue idea won out," says Peasnell.

Dexter's CBD counterpart, Dexter Meat, Liquor & Roof, was not exactly planned. "We found this Swanson Street location and just fell in love with it before we were really looking to do a second venue," says Peasnell. "Tom and Adam have always been really keen to test their product in the city, though — it's the ultimate challenge considering the competitive nature of the CBD."

We're not sure if the crew are taking cues from fellow multi-storey CBD venue Fancy Hanks, but it appears levelled dining adventures are Melbourne's forte now. Dexter's three-storey venue will have a very different vibe from the Preston original and consist of a full-on restaurant on level one, a cocktail bar on level two and, as the name suggests, an outdoor rooftop bar on level three. The moody fitout of level one will be a distinct departure from the light, open space of Dexter Meat & Buns and the restaurant will somehow be even more meat focused  — think in-house, dry-aged beef with an emphasis on steak and brisket. Patrons can expect a few signatures, like the short rib, but overall the menu will be specialised for the city and include more mains, provisions and sides. The bigger space will also allow the team to break down cuts in-house and control much more of the process from start to finish.

The 'Liquor' piece of the puzzle will take the form of a high-ceiling cocktail bar on level two. Patrons can expect a distinct step up from the picklebacks of Dexter Meat & Buns, with a fully-stocked bar focused on American style spirits and stirred down classics that suit the food. The spot can cater to an after-dinner crowd or for late night drinks and nibbles, with a 3am license and a menu of bar snacks including fried chicken, loaded fries and the signature Dexter buns and meat doughnuts.  "We love the idea of being able to have an old fashioned and pulled pork bun at 2am and want it to be a really inviting place to hang around," says Peasnell. The 'Roof' component will be an outdoor, super casual extension of the bar with picklebacks, beers by Preston local Hawkers and signature buns — all elevated with amazing views over the city.

The Preston crowd shouldn't feel abandoned, though — the team is even installing a CBD loyalty program for people from the 3072 area code which will include perks like picklebacks on entry, cheap beers and doughnuts on the house.  "The locals have been so amazing and loyal to us, so we want to make sure they feel just as at home in the city location," says Peasnell.  "Because of this support, Dexter Meat & Buns will also stay as important to us as anything new we do."

Take Away Pizza will open at 535 High Street, Preston this spring and Dexter Meat, Liquor & Roof will open by Christmas 2017, location TBC.

Published on May 23, 2017 by Marissa Ciampi

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