The Van Haandel Group has announced that it has sold its Alfred Place Melbourne premises, currently home to Stokehouse City, to Sydney-based hospitality empire, the Urban Purveyor Group.

CEO Frank van Haandel says that the decision to sell was made with a heavy heart, but essential to facilitate the successful relaunch of Stokehouse St Kilda which was destroyed by fire in early 2014.

“It has now been two years since the devastating loss of Stokehouse St Kilda to fire,” says van Haandel. “These past two years have been the hardest of my working life – we could never have imagined the time, stress or resources that would be required to get our flagship on St Kilda Beach reopened.

“‘…These decisions are never easy, and as always our staff have been at the forefront of my thinking, as they have been since the fire. We will work with all team members over the coming weeks to identify alternative opportunities for them; whether in our Group, with the new operators of the premises or with our friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry. 

"We want to retain Ollie Hansford, we believe in his extraordinary talent, and we will explore with him opportunities to open his own venue.”

Van Haandel says that the Group has just entered an exciting phase in the rebuild of Stokehouse St Kilda, which will comprise three business within the same building. Slated for an October opening, the first floor will house Stokehouse Restaurant, whilst the ground floor will see two new operations open including a beachside kiosk.

The venue is being designed by renowned architect Robert Simeoni, with interiors by awarding winning designers Gomes-McNabb (first floor) and George Livisiannis (ground floor).  The building will also be the first 5 Star Green star building of its type.

“We are working with numerous expert consultants to deliver this landmark and ground-breaking green restaurant venue," says van Haandel. "We are considering everything from electric car chargers, eWater, geo thermal technologies, waste stream management, inputs and outputs (both building materials and ongoing operations), reclaimed, recycled and recovered materials, insulation methods and materials, battery back up systems, heat recovery systems, bike storage, water capture, storage and re-use, water minimisation strategies, glycol technologies. The list is endless and fascinating, however it is dominating our working hours and requires significant research and discussion. This workload along with that associated with three new operations has led to my decision to exit the City.”

Fairfax reports that the Urban Purveyor Group plans to reopen the Stokehouse City premises as the Cut Bar & Grill steakhouse.


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