The 80-cover venue will reproduce the formula that made its success in the 1990s – no corkage fee on wine brought by customers, and a set three-course menu of traditional restaurant food.
“The concept worked, BYO with no corkage charge and a simple three-course menu. We used to do incredibly well due to the fact that you can bring your own wine,” co-owner Tony Wilshaw told BigHospitality.
Originally launched on Park Street in 1988, Melbournes will reopen at the Anchor in Ham Green.
Wilshaw explained that he and his business partner at the time decided to sell the business to the owners of now-defunct gourmet burger chain Tootsies because the offer was one they couldn’t refuse.
“Since then I have focused on my other Bristol restaurant, called Delmonico, for about 13 years, as well as the Mezze restaurants owned by my nephew. I managed one of them and liked it so much I bought it,” he added.
He then decided to revive the Melbournes concept on the site of that Mezze restaurant, joining forces with new business partner Leigh Iles.
The venue is currently undergoing refurbishment and will include a new pizza kitchen for an eat-in and takeaway offering.
“The bar area of Melbournes will offer a relaxed pizza and grill dining concept. Although this area is not BYO, prices will be very affordable.
“With the installation of a new pizza kitchen and take-away service to run alongside a relaxed and stylish dining experience, we hope we will have a winning combination,” Wilshaw explained.
Favourites from Melbournes’s first menu will return alongside the addition of more contemporary Asian and Mediterranean dishes.
Starters will be served with bread and all mains accompanied by potatoes and vegetables.