A New Era for Carlton’s Prince Alfred
It’s new and shiny, but its pleasures are pub classics: Toss the Boss, parmas and endless pancakes.
Melbourne University students should be on guard when they head across the road to the rejigged Prince Alfred Hotel because the new owners intend to keep you there long after your next lecture has started.
“We really wanted to create a place that’s somewhere you want to lose hours in,” says Daragh Kan, founder of the 100 Burgers Group (Welcome to Thorbury, Belle’s Hot Chicken and Mr Burger), which took over the Carlton institution late last year. “If you’re a uni student who rocks up for a quick bite, [you’ll get] so comfortable you’ll skip the next class. Before you know it, uni’s over.”
To achieve this Kan has made a few changes. While leaving the exterior of the 100-year old Grattan Street pub virtually untouched, inside walls were stripped, staircases moved and a lift installed. It’s a very slick affair.
Architecture firm Hot Black – whose high-vis and hard-contrast fit-outs grace Straight Six in Kensington and Supagrind on Spring Street – were called in to splash around some metal joinery, floral wallpaper and pink surfaces. A rooftop garden was installed, as was a shipping container for pop-up kitchens.
For Kan, striking design is compulsory. “If you have the right fit-out it changes how you experience the venue. I’ve been to places with great food, but you just want to get out of there as soon as you’re finished eating,” he says.