Everyone’s favourite elongated bar, The Long Room, has closed its doors after 12 years in the business (may she rest in peace). On the plus side, owners Simon Jones and Greg Kahan have created something new in its place: The George On Collins. A refined all-day eatery where you can grab a mid-morning latte and a post-work Old Fashioned, all in impeccable style.
The Long Room was never going to be an easy space to renovate (it was called ‘long’ for a reason) and the $4m facelift has done a good job of brightening the basement décor, bringing a little light to the space, while honouring the building’s bare-bones heritage. The walls and ceilings are white and linen-crisp, the lighting is soft and inviting, and the main granite bar does a good job of breaking up the space.
Behind the bar you’ve got Sebastian Costello, (Bad Frankie) mixing contemporary combos like the Collins St Mule (a berry-infused take on the Moscow classic) and Rogueish Tendencies (a dry martini cut with savoury vermouth and thyme-infused honey). The wine list has been hand-picked by illustrious sommelier Ainslie Lubbock (Attica, The Royal Mail, Cutler & Co) It’s a no-brainer for the post-work finance crowd, but the brunch menu is where The George gets a little interesting...There aren’t many late-night Euro-inspired brasseries that pump out a mean smoked salmon and scrambled roll.
Expect a few other surprises, like rotating nightly DJs and an 80-seat private dining room (cleverly concealed behind a wall of frosted glass). This is whip-smart Melbourne food at the cutting edge of CBD dining. The Long Room may be gone, but its spirit is alive and well.
Image credit: Max Kruse