The Smith has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, expanding in to the building next door and doubling the size of the venue. The Smith team have created a spectacular new site out of what already existed and the changes are jaw-dropping. The new space encapsulates contemporary design, stunning art, a tongue-in-cheek mood and a thought leading approach to contemporary cuisine.
A retractable glass roof, designed in Germany, will cover a closed in piazza type space for year round enjoyment and will protect patrons from the weather, while allowing the area to be bathed in natural light. It offers a beautiful weather proof outdoor garden space for patrons of The Smith to enjoy every day.
The dining room will feature the talent of Executive Chef and new business partner, Brad Simpson. The food at The Smith has always been some of Prahran’s best and the kitchen will reflect a more contemporary attitude, with less Asian focus and more on the purity and the integrity of ingredients. The food offering has always been incredible at The Smith and the new menu will take this dining icon up a notch. The design and fit out, along with the use of the space, is exciting.
The interior design is quite striking, with artwork by Ash Keating, a hip commercial artist who has painted the interior with fire extinguishers. The site will be bold and will set the trend for Melbourne interiors as much as it does the food. It’s really a step ahead for both Prahran and Melbourne.
The entire project is really kicking things up a notch. Lambie and Borg have worked together for nearly twenty years, including their time at Melbourne’s Iconic Taxi Dining Room, Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar, and are really doing something incredible – combining some of the very best elements of Melbourne in to one extraordinary space, while maintaining the level of quality and fun the venue is known for. Brad Simpson joins them as a partner in the business and has been the Executive Chef at The Smith for some time. They make a formidable team.
The extended bar space will be the focus for The Smith and while food has always been a key part of the offer, the evolution of the venue means a bigger and better space to meet for a post work tipple, to have a night out or relax with an excellent glass of wine and some reasonably priced food. Expect the unexpected.
Quirky elements throughout have been integral to the design process and each part has been thoughtfully included to deliver the overall function of the space. Each part of the venue interacts with consumers, and plays with a number of themes. A great deal of time has been invested in to the interiors and how the indoor/outdoor play of the space functions throughout the year.
The architecture and design of the space are very clever, there are some fantastic ideas around music and the culture of the space, and it remains one of the most Instagram-friendly spaces in Melbourne.
In the early days
The Smith is the former Duke of York Hotel, a double-storey corner hotel designed in stylised Grecian revival mode. The first hotel on the site opened in the mid 1850s and was extensively remodelled or rebuilt c1927. Today, it is significant as a local architectural and historical significance to the City of Stonnington for over 150 years.