The Prince Hotel has officially opened the final stage of its four-year, multi-million dollar refurbishment, with Little Prince Wine welcoming its first dine-in guests.

The wine bar and cellar launched on the first day of Melbourne’s second lockdown, operating as a coffee shop, bottle shop and gourmet grocer until 30 October, when it seated its first patrons.

The chic European-inspired wine bar will continue to offer gourmet groceries and takeaway drinks, with a 4000-bottle wine collection curated over the past decade by The Prince Hotel’s Sommelier Laurent Rospars.

The underground cellar includes a large communal table for casual drinks and dining as well as private dinners and events. The space also features custom-made zinc and timber tables with bar stools and dining tables for small groups, all framed by wine cellar walls, from which guests can select a bottle for dine-in or takeaway. A deli-style cabinet showcases produce.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support we’ve seen from our local community these past few months and we can’t wait to see them interact with the space in its new iteration. We’re also looking forward to welcoming visitors from outside our five kilometre radius,” said The Prince Hotel’s Managing Director Andrew Ryan.

“We want Little Prince Wine to become the kind of place you pop into for a quick drink, but then find yourself cosily ensconced in the corner till the wee hours, caught up in conversation with your date or new found friend.”

Little Prince Wine sits adjacent to Prince Public Bar, which called first drinks in January this year. The boutique hotel also includes Prince Dining Room, live music venue ​Prince Bandroom ​and events and function space the Prince Deck.

The Prince Rooftop Beer Garden also joined the stable of venues this week, opening on Saturday 7 November.

A partnership with Brick Lane Brewing and Nagambie Brewery & Distillery, the outdoor space is a response to the COVID-Safe guidelines and will initially open for a four-week period, operating from Thursday to Sunday.

The Rooftop Beer Garden will Brick Lane Brews and Nagambie 3608 Gin cocktails, alongside a casual food menu featuring Roman-style deep pan pizzas by the slice and European-inspired picnic packs.

Pre-COVID, the Prince Hotel was licensed to host almost 2000 patrons across its five permanent venues — that number is limited to 70 for each space now, with 20 of those allowed indoors.

“We’re pretty bloody excited to be getting back to the business of hospitality and the rooftop beer garden is an exciting addition to our offering,” said Ryan. “Like many operators, we’ve had to adapt our business in line with the changing circumstances.

“From activating car parks, to our partnership with home delivery platform Providoor, we’ve tried to remain nimble and relevant to consumers throughout the past eight months. But ultimately The Prince Hotel exists to create memorable experiences for guests across every one of our venues and we can’t wait to get back to doing what we love.”