Nomad Group have secured the historic Melbourne Stock Exchange site and will transform the derelict site into a French restaurant and bar come August.
The team have meticulously been planning and restoring the 1890s building over the past two years, working alongside Heritage Victoria, RBA Heritage Architects, and Akin Atelier to convert the Stock Exchange into two concepts: Reine and La Rue.
There will be capacity for 150 guests in the dining room across booth settings and high seats overlooking cocktail and seafood bars as well as an alfresco dining area with room for 40 patrons.
La Rue has been developed with a tiny but mighty approach and sits alongside the external courtyard.
The eight-seater walk-in-only speakeasy has been decked out with black-stained timber joinery and black terazzo flooring.
“This space has not had the chance to be appreciated at all and this is what we are most excited about with the insertion of our dining room,” says Nomad’s Rebecca Yazbek. “It will be enjoyed by the public for the first time.”
Group Executive Chef Jacqui Challinor will oversee the menu alongside Nomad Melbourne’s Head Chef Brendan Katich, who will move across to Reine and La Rue.
A bespoke wood-fired hearth has been installed in the kitchen which will see Victorian produce hit the grill with a French influence. “Given the abundance on our doorstep, there isn’t much need to look further,” says Challinor.
Launch dishes include calamari cooked over charcoal with cafe de Paris butter and dry-aged rib-eye with bordelaise and frites.
“Desserts will also pay homage to the classics along with a touch of tableside flare, including a cheese trolley showcasing some of the best local and international offerings,” says Challinor.
Group Wine Director Ged Bellis has been working on the wine list which will see an extensive offering of French and American drops as well as classic cocktails from Manhattans to martinis.
“We will have the largest and most exclusive American wine list in the country,” he says.
Reine and La Rue is slated to open in early August at 380 Collins Street, Melbourne.