The rebuild of St Kilda’s Stokehouse restaurant is officially underway following a fire in 2014 that destroyed the site.
Frank van Haandel, CEO of The van Haandel Group together with the Mayor of The City of Port Phillip, Amanda Stevens yesterday witnessed the first piece of what is set to be a massive construction ahead of the iconic Melbourne restaurant.
The van Haandel Group has worked closely with Zurich, Westpac, local council and the government to finalise the rebuild, with Frank van Haandel adding that he was thrilled to see the works on the site officially commence.
“It has been an extremely complicated process over the past 20 months for us and I could not be happier to see works commence at the site which means we are just that bit closer to bringing back our much loved Stokehouse to St Kilda. The new Stokehouse will be unprecedented as the first Design and Built 5 Star Green star building of its type in Australia,” says Van Haandel.
“It’s terrific to see the start of official construction works for the rebirth of this St Kilda icon. There’s a resurgence underway in St Kilda, with several important building projects either planned or underway, and Stokehouse St Kilda is an important part of this activity.”
Mayor Stevens said that St Kilda community were looking forward to seeing the iconic venue reopen for business.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Van Haandel Group to ensure the new restaurant meets all planning and lease requirements and, along with our community, are looking forward to Stokehouse St Kilda opening its doors next year,” said Mayor Stevens.
Stokehouse St Kilda is earmarked to open in 2016.
The fire broke out at around 11pm on Friday 17 January 2014. It’s believed fat in the flue, combined with the extreme heat experienced in Melbourne at the time led to the cause of the blaze.
Two months after the fire, the Sydney Opera House ended its proposed 10 year lease agreement with The van Haandel Group which had involved bringing the Stokehouse restaurant concept to the ex-Guillaume at Bennelong site.
In July this year, The Group announced a number of changes to its kitchen team nationally. Richard Ousby was promoted from head chef at Stokehouse Q to the new group position of executive chef – Stokehouse Restaurants; and Oliver Gould, who was appointed head chef at Stokehouse St Kilda at just 26 years of age and has held the position of executive chef at Stokehouse City for the past year, tendered his resignation after almost 8 years with the Group to explore new opportunities.