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FOOD & DRINK

Society Is the Much-Anticipated New Culinary Venture from Chris Lucas, Martin Benn and Vicki Wild

The multi-faceted venue will make its home in the 80 Collins Street building from March.
By Libby Curran
December 07, 2020
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By Libby Curran
December 07, 2020
  shares

It's been a challenging year for Australia's hospitality scene, but things are already looking up for 2021. Especially now that we've been given an opening date for the hotly anticipated project from restaurateur Chris Lucas (Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Kisume), and Martin Benn and Vicki Wild of Sydney's now-closed three-hat fine diner Sepia. More than three years in the making, the trio's landmark collaboration Society is set to open its doors in the historic 80 Collins Street building from March.

This grand, multi-faceted venue will boast 180-degree views over Collins and Exhibition streets, comprising the main Society dining room, an opulent lounge bar and a lush indoor-outdoor eatery named the Lillian Terrace, in honour of former Paris End resident Lillian Wightman. While each space is set to deliver a distinctly different offering, Benn's renowned flair for avant-garde cooking will shine throughout.

The bar will be your go-to for pre-dinner drinks and snack-matched cocktail sessions alike, featuring a tight array of drinking fare to complement an elegant lineup of libations. Elsewhere, you'll be able to settle in for a luxurious meal beneath the lofty ceilings of Society, or pull up a seat on the terrace for an al fresco feed overlooking the former site of 'Luxury Lil' Wightman's legendary fashion boutique Le Louvre.

Nick & Nora's by Brook James

Melbourne architects Russell & George have overseen the design of the site, tasked with creating a modern twist on mid-century style, while lending an intimate feel to the spacious venue.

Lucas hopes that, once complete, Society will fill a void for locals and visitors alike. "Our society, our city has been through so much this year," he said in a statement. "It is with great pride that we can finally look to opening our exciting new dining destination and add another dimension to Melbourne's already incredible restaurant scene, that has been such a big part of my life."

Society will join 80 Collins Street's growing list of hospitality venues, including already open champagne bar Nick & Nora's and coffee shop Maverick, and Farmer's Daughters — a three-storey, paddock-to-plate restaurant from Pastuso chef-owner Alejandro Saravia — which is set to open next year.

Society is slated to open at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne, from late March 2021. 

Published on December 07, 2020 by Libby Curran

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