This was certainly some of the weirder news that crossed our path today.
Legendary teddy-bear-eyed, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett is teaming up with Lorenz Grollo (of the Melbourne Grollos) to launch a 400-punter live music venue called Geddes Lane Ballroom.
Well, basically the guys have taken over the 170-year-old building in Geddes lane that used to be Showgirls (man, if those walls could talk...). The plan is to turn the space into a ground floor bar and a first-floor band room as part of the King Street Revival Project.
Bennett’s handling the food, obviously.
“We’ll be presenting great food that has a social conscience, is sustainable and good for you,” he says. “Think retro drinks like Japanese slippers (that were in fact invented in Melbourne), local beers and local produce. Our Benny burger will be huge, and we’re designing our own food vending machines offering salad bowls, Lui bar sausage rolls and heaps more.”
We never thought we’d see the day that King St and “social conscience” would be used in the same sentence. What a brave new world this is...
In terms of music, Shannon and Lorenz will be featuring a mix of local and touring artists, hitting up everything from garage rock to swinging jazz.
In some ways, this is the building going back to its roots. Before it was Showgirls for 20 years, this place was actually The Grainstore Tavern, where John Farnham, Tina Arena and INXS cut their teeth.
We’ll keep you in the loop as more information comes on board. In the meantime, let’s leave you with the thoughts of Lorenz Grollo.
“We’re passionate about cleaning up King St, one pole at a time,” he says.
You can sign up for more info on Geddes Lane Ballroom here.
Image credit: Rocco Dipoppa