Iconic Melbourne Dining Strip Takes Next Step In Revitalisation

Posted on 17th October 2019

The revitalisation of Lygon Street has taken another step, with young talent emerging from popular restaurant and bar Longsong set to open a new modern Asian cuisine venture in the prime of the iconic hospitality and lifestyle strip.

Chris James of Fitzroys negotiated the lease at 263 Lygon Street in Carlton on behalf of a private owner.

The five-year lease with further options was struck at $83,000 per annum plus outgoings and GST, and the new venture will host diners from the 95sqm ground floor of the building.

The partners of the new venture, Lagoon Dining, were key talent involved with CBD venue Longsong. They include Chris Lerch, venue manager of Longsong and former manager of Flinders Street fine dining spot Ezard, and Longsong head chef Ned Trumble.

“We’ve seen a new generation of bar and restaurant ventures add a fresh twist to Lygon Street and Carlton’s hospitality scene,” James said.

“This venture will bring modern Asian cuisine to the heart of Lygon Street, near D.O.C. Espresso and The University Café, further enhancing the mix of the iconic Italian influence synonymous with Lygon Street and Carlton and a new breed of hospitality offerings that are revitalising the strip.”

Other recent entrants include Heart Attack and Vine, Israeli-influenced vegetarian pub Green Man’s Arms, the recently re-opened King & Godfree building, wine bar Lord Lygon and Hakata Gensuke, while in the immediate surrounds are The Carlton Wine Room and DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar.

James said the long-term lease in the prime section of the strip reflects the operators’ confidence in the transformation of Lygon Street.

“Melburnians are living in and going out across the inner suburbs in growing numbers and Carlton is no exception, having also seen an influx of young professionals and students living in the immediate vicinity.

“This has added huge depth to the immediate catchment of Melbourne’s best-known restaurant strip, and demand is growing for more distinct offerings that have enhanced its unique character.”

Lygon Street was the first precinct to offer Melburnians a European-style dining experience. “Little Italy” has always maintained a strong alliance with the city’s Italian community, which began arriving in Melbourne in increasing numbers from the middle of the 19th century. Today it is underpinned by the growing university and student population and its central location immediately to the north of the CBD, attracting tourists as well as locals.