“We always talk about Melbourne being an international city, but we have to step up,” says Ian Curley. “There’s nothing I hate more than being told the kitchen doses at 10pm. We need places where you can grab a bite and bottle of wine late in the night.”
Now at Curley’s French Saloon you can do just that — until 1:30am, in fact, Mon through Fri.
“We’ve only just started, but the word is slowly getting out and it will be great once the pub opens.”
That pub Is the final piece in the puzzle that started with Kirk’s Wine Bar at the corner of Hardware Lane and Little Bourke St, grew with the bistro-styles of French Saloon upstairs and will be completed by the pub, which Curley hopes to open mid Nov.
With 12 taps along the bespoke feature curved wooden bar, beer will be a focus, along with food that pays respect to the pub grub UK-born Curley grew up with.
“We’ve perfected the pork pie, that’s definitely on:’ he says of the menu that will be overseen by French Saloon head chef Todd Moses and Fiona Lie.
With its 150-year-old bluestone walls, the pub’s subterranean space looks likely to be Melbourne’s favourite place for a winter rendezvous, while the wood-panelled main bar will have plenty of room to perch with a pint and good salt and vinegar crisps.
“We want each of the spaces to be their own identity,” he says.