NOMAD Al Yazbek Rebecca Yazbek + Jacqui Challinor

Sydney restaurant Nomad is on the move again, this time settling into a permanent home on Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD.

Owners Al and Rebecca Yazbek have been on the lookout for a space in Melbourne for more than two years. Now the duo has successfully nabbed a much-desired Flinders Lane locale, they’ll be commuting interstate to develop the new restaurant while rebuilding the Foster Street venue, which was destroyed by fire in September this year.

The team’s temporary home in the old Longrain site — dubbed Nomad Up The Road — will now extend into mid-2020.

“2019 has been a big year, to say the least,” says Rebecca Yazbek. “We could never have anticipated the fire in Sydney and our big move Up The Road but we are finally back on track to bring Nomad to Melbourne, breathe new life into Sydney and enter an exciting new phase for us and the entire Nomad family.”

Current head chef Jacqui Challinor will step into the role of executive chef over the coming months, with sous chef Sam McCallum moving into the role of head chef in Sydney and the hunt on for local chefs to form Melbourne’s kitchen team.

The same commitment to locally sourced produce, house-made bread, charcuterie and cheese plus the signature wood-fired oven will all feature in Melbourne, but new dishes will ensure the venue has its own identity. Small growers and producers will also shine on the wine list, with an increased focus on international wines distinguishing it from its Sydney counterpart.

Challinor is excited by the prospect of working with and sourcing from new suppliers. “Having strong relationships with local suppliers has always been a core part of what we do at Nomad so my aim is to get down there and engage with all the Victorian producers to help inspire the Melbourne menu,” she says.

Melbourne-based architect Clare Cousins will work with the Yazbeks to transform the the narrow retail space that currently takes up 189 Flinders Lane into a 150-seat bar and restaurant. It’ll be elegant and moody with a concealed entry and refined but raw details.

The new addition, which will call Supernormal, Ezard and Kisumé its neighbours, is expected to launch in June 2020.

It’s the second Sydney institution this week to announce its impending arrival in Melbourne — iconic Manly brand 4 Pines will launch its first brewery in the city early next year.

Image: Rebecca Yazbek, Al Yazbek and Jacqui Challinor Credit: Petrina Tinslay

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