Coming Soon: Il Mercato Centrale Has Officially Broken Ground on Its Australian-First Venue in Melbourne's CBD

The Italian artisan market is set to be one of Melbourne CBD's biggest hospitality venues yet.
Andrew Zuccala
Published on January 22, 2024

Australians have hotly anticipated the opening of the very first Il Mercato Centrale in Melbourne ever since it was first announced in 2022. At that time, it was expected to launch late the same year. But it's now 2024, and we still have no hard date for its opening.

The highly ambitious venture came across a heap of setbacks, as the team behind it is determined to create a hospitality venue unlike anything that Melbourne has ever seen. All the red tape has now been sorted, however, and construction is charging ahead at 546 Collins Street at lightning speed.

Il Mercato Centrale in Turin

First off, the 3500-square-metre space, spread across three stories, truly is enormous. The first floor will have a market feel to it but with more flash, fun and tech. Each of the vendors will be slinging their own specialty goods, with none competing with the other.

There'll be a bakery, patisserie, pasta shop, pizza joint, cheese maker, butcher and seafood stall, to name a few. Here, you can get fresh produce to take away or order it to be cooked up right in front of you. That means that you can buy a steak to eat at home or ask them to pop it on the grill while you start on some wine that you ordered from the bar right in the centre of the ground floor. Want to make it a surf and turf? Order some grilled calamari from the seafood stall next door and create your own feast.

Conveniently, you'll be able to order from any and all vendors all in one transaction by using a QR code — or even pre-order from your office to pick up when it's ready. It going to be one of the easiest Melbourne food halls to order from.

Then, on the second floor of Melbourne's Il Mercato Centrale, you'll find a fine-dining restaurant, cocktail bar, pasta restaurant (all made by hand), pizzeria, gelateria, wine bar, a gin and vodka distillery, and live music stage. We told you, it's huge. Up here, you'll even be able to order some of the food from downstairs to be delivered to you.

Say you're sipping on a negroni at the bar upstairs and get a bit hungry. All you've got to do is order a cheeseboard and perhaps some slices of pizza on your phone, and the team will bring it up to you. If it all works out how the crew wants it to, it will be a huge feat of tech and service ingenuity.

The top floor of Il Mercato Centrale will then be dedicated to private events and masterclasses, where each of the vendors will run workshops on their particular trades each month.

Il Mercato Centrale Rome

There will even be a big outdoor seating area right on Collins Street, something that was not easy for the Il Mercato Centrale team to secure. Taking Concrete Playground on a tour of the site, General Manager Gary Patikkis couldn't share the details about the outside area, but he noted that it is set to be unlike any other street-level drinking and dining space in the CBD.

The venue will have a 3am liquor license (another rarity for new venues in Melbourne) and be open until from 7am–12am every day of the week.

Patikkis was reluctant to share any opening dates, but rest assured that Il Mercato Centrale is coming. And Melburnians and visitors alike hopefully won't have to wait much longer before being able to dine on a massive range of Italian eats in the Victorian capital's CBD.

Il Mercato Centrale Firenze

Mercato Centrale Melbourne is set to open at 546 Collins Street, Melbourne. We'll share more information as it is announced, and you can head to the venue's website in the interim.

Top image: Il Mercato Centrale Milan.

Published on January 22, 2024 by Andrew Zuccala
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