Scott Pickett has confirmed he’s taking over the lease of Vue Group’s Melbourne restaurant Iki-Jime.

The venue on Little Collins Street has remained closed since restrictions began, but Pickett tells Hospitality the move has been in the works for some time.

“This has been a project in the plan since pre-COVID-19,” says the chef. “It’s a wonderful site and Vue Group has always delivered great hospitality there.”

Pickett will launch Pickett’s Deli in the smaller part of the venue and use the larger restaurant space for a new brand.

“With Vue Group now focusing on enhancing their existing business performance, I am excited to take over the premises and deliver my vision that includes a Pickett’s Deli and a concept I am working on for the restaurant that will evolve over the next few months,” he says.

And it seems like the chef will be going down the casual French bistro path with the new concept.

“Something in the direction of Bistro Vue days, as that is my favourite memory of the site,” says Pickett.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Pickett, who also snapped up Longrain in early July.

Chef Shannon Bennett withdrew from his position as director of Vue Group in March this year and sold his remaining shares to Far East Organisation in Singapore, according to The Age. The chef remains a consultant to the group.

Meanwhile, Vue Group continues to operate Vue de monde and Lui Bar along with a range of casual concepts including Jardin Tan.

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