Miss Katie's Crab Shack, the brainchild of Katie Marron, first opened in North Melbourne’s Public Bar in 2012. Now she’s grown out of her shell and crab-walked across town to the recently reopened Melbourne pub, The Rochester Hotel in Fitzroy (#sorrynotsorry).
The revamped Rochey is a partnership between Marron and hoteliers Brigette and John Costello (The Aviary and Dr Morse) and Stu Moss. Collingwood and Fitzroy's most famous cross street welcomes the rejuvenated addition—a much anticipated endeavour for the already acknowledged and experienced team.
Popular hospitality interior designer Meg Milton (G&Tea Gin Garden) is responsible for the rustic atmosphere at The Rochester Hotel. Through the use of cross textures like exposed brick, wood and worn painting techniques, Milton has created the perfect environment for the Maryland-inspired food served up by Miss Katie’s Crab Shack.
Neon signage and a wall-high naval feature mural give a cool edge to the neighbourhood Fitzroy pub, and green leather furniture invites pub-goers to stay a few rounds.
On tap at The Rochester, a beer selection of Young Henry's Real Ale, Abbotsford Stout and McLaren Vale's IPA will sit between various Cooper's choices. Our pick of the cocktails includes the 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico'—a delicious mix of Tequila, apricot and Chinotto. Or maybe you have your eye on the ‘Purple Jesus’, or selection of iced tea cocktails…
If you’re familiar with the original incarnation of Miss Katie's Crab Shack on Victoria Street, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the upsized menu. Drawing direct influence from her grandmother’s handwritten recipes, Marron has invested in a bigger kitchen appropriate for the copious mouths she feeds.
As before, you can indulge in the chicken and waffles or the famous crab boil, but she'll also let you 'build your own' with choices such as king prawns, pippies or mussels. Shack snacks in the form of soft shell crab sliders and Sailor Jerry glazed chicken ribs are delectable and there are Coffin Bay oysters aplenty. Dessert? Do the $5 shake, if you're over 18.
We're tipping The Rochester Hotel as the most exciting thing to occur on Johnston Street this year. A new Melbourne pub perfect for a group outing or a casual date.
Image Credits: Sabine Legrand for The Urban List.