Prince Public Bar called first drinks on Monday 20 January after undergoing months of extensive renovations. The St Kilda local closed in April 2019 to make way for the major overhaul.

IF Architecture’s Iva Foschia is behind the remodelling, which pays homage to its Art Deco heritage with a large oval bar — restored to its original grandeur — taking centre stage. The historic venue has been given a modern edge though, with the entire ground floor opened up to create light, generous spaces. Movement between the public bar, the Prince Dining Room and the hotel lobby flows freely thanks to an internal staircase.

The Prince Hotel’s head chef Dan Cooper (Circa, Garden State Hotel, Aria) now has an expansive kitchen to work with, meaning the pub can dish up classic counter meals from breakfast to dinner. The menu is approachable (think steaks, burgers and fish & chips), with the focus on seasonal produce prepared by woodfired cooking. A signature roast series will rotate daily, offering rotisserie dishes slow-cooked lamb shoulder, roasted pork belly and coal-grilled ocean trout.

Bar snacks include duck liver parfait with brioche, homemade sausage rolls, smoked ham & Gruyere cheese croquettes and classic steak tartare.

“I’m excited to show Melburnians and tourists alike just how far the Prince has come, while not losing sight of its colourful and quirky past,” says Cooper. “It’s important to feel comfortable and at home in a pub, and we’ve created a menu and venue that encourages people to return two, three times a week.”

Prince Public Bar facelift is part of a complete refurbishment of the The Prince Hotel, which also has 39-room boutique hotel, Prince Dining Room restaurant, premium event space Prince Deck, Aurora Spa and the Rain Room rooftop.

The final stage of its revival will arrive in February 2020; Little Prince Wine bar will host 60 people in a space adjacent to the pub.

Image: Kristoffer Paulsen

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