Karen Martini's All-Day Euro-Inspired ACMI Restaurant Hero Has Suddenly Closed Down

The eatery opened back in 2021 as part of the venue's huge $40-million makeover.
Sarah Ward and Libby Curran
Published on October 03, 2023

When Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image underwent a massive $40-million makeover and reopened its doors in 2021, it didn't overlook the culinary side of things, welcoming in acclaimed chef and author Karen Martini with Euro-inspired all-day restaurant Hero. But pre- and post-gallery bites and sips are no longer on the menu at the Federation Square eatery, which has announced that it has suddenly closed its doors.

In social media posts and on its website, Hero revealed on Monday, October 2 that it is no longer operating. "We regret to advise that today, 2 October 2023, ACMI purported to terminate our Operation and Events Management Agreement with immediate effect," the venue said.

"As a result, Hero will not be trading for the foreseeable future."

Accordingly, ACMI's Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion exhibition isn't the only drawcard that's no longer onsite as of October. The showcase celebrating women on-screen closed on Sunday, October 1.

ACMI's website for Hero now notes that "a new food and drink offer is coming soon".

Since launching more than two years ago, Hero has championed simplicity while showcasing top Victorian produce — and aimed to deliver a fuss-free take on contemporary dining that tied in with one of the city's most exciting cultural hubs. Its launch setup included a grab-and-go kiosk offering, plus a sitdown restaurant and bar spread. Among its most recent menu highlights: oysters, buffalo ricotta, cured kingfish, pickled baby octopus, roast chicken with charred bread sauce, four types of pasta and vanilla panna cotta for dessert.

For folks checking out a flick on ACMI's big screen, Hero also gave the cinema snack bar its own spin. So, while watching a movie, patrons could enjoy a drink from a globe-trotting wine list curated by Phillip Rich (Prince Wine Store, Kisume) and nibble on cheese boxes by Maker and Monger's Anthony Femia.

Hero was located at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne — head to the venue's website and Instagram for more information.

Images: Pete Tarasiuk.

Published on October 03, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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