Longrain is no stranger to spreading its wings, with the restaurant not only boasting venues in Sydney and Melbourne, but setting up shop in Tokyo as well. Their latest expansion comes much, much closer to home, and it has been some time in the making — but, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.
Meet Longsong, which patrons will find just upstairs from Little Bourke Street's Longrain, operating from 4pm until late seven days a week. A 250-person space serving up wood-grilled and barbecued food and a diverse arrange of drinks, it's the casual sibling to Longrain, designed for hanging out over a beverage while grabbing a bite to eat. It's also a collaboration between Longrain's John and Lisa van Haandel and David Moyle of Franklin in Tasmania.
With Moyle behind the menu, smokey meats, skewers, vegetables and snacks are on offer, plus salads to match, with the eatery placing a particular focus on sustainable produce. Drinks-wise, sipping on more than your standard beverage is on the bill. Think tapped wine barrels, bespoke spirits, and curated picks from local brewers, producers and makers.
Unsurprisingly, the space itself is quite the drawcard, taking over a former second-storey horse stable last used in the mid-1900s. While given a modern update, that means exposed brick walls beneath lofty ceilings, an eye-catching bar that draws the light and the original stable floors — when you're not getting cosy in a booth or around a tiny table, that is.
"We set about to transform the incredible space above Longrain, creating a new, casual and relaxed bar atmosphere with a lighter palate than many Melbourne offering," explains John van Haandel. "Longsong is a little bit punk, a little bit rebel, a little bit street. It's Longrain's naughty little brother. We are all very excited to open."
Find Longsong upstairs at 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, or head to their website or Facebook page for further details.