Monday 17 June 2019
Restaurateur Chris Lucas today announced significant additions to French-inspired bistro and wine bar, Batârd, and confirmed it will now open in an historic area of Melbourne’s Bourke Street in 2020.
Originally planned to be located in the stately Victorian terrace at 19-21 Bourke Street, Batârd will now be housed across two adjacent buildings, incorporating the historically important 23 Bourke Street which was the original home to Melbourne’s Society restaurant. Society was a Melbourne institution, run by the same family from 1932 to 1984, and one of Melbourne’s original prominent restaurants.
Chris, just back from a trip in France, said “While I was very happily working away on one building, the owners of next door (23 Bourke Street) approached me with the opportunity to rework two important and beautiful buildings. It was a rare opportunity to extend my thoughts and ideas beyond what I had originally planned for the corner site. Melbourne has too few buildings left from this era, so I really couldn’t say no.”
Chris has said that Batârd will draw inspiration from Melbourne’s long-time love affair with all things French. While there’s no definitive plan yet Chris’s initial thoughts for the larger, grander space include a bistro including the likes of an oyster bar, a delicious rotisserie section, and a menu that includes an ode to classic steaks. Chris says “what’s a bistro without some great wine, so we’re going to have some fun creating some new wine ideas that Melbournians can enjoy”.
Batârd is located in Melbourne’s Bourke Hill, an area which includes some of the city’s most historic buildings which are protected by the Victorian Government, including the Windsor Hotel, Princess Theatre and Parliament House not to mention some of Melbourne’s most iconic and longstanding restaurants.
Chris said: “I’m really looking forward to bringing these old buildings back to life and being a neighbour to some old friends who I greatly respect. Hopefully I can in a small way be part of the next chapter of this beautiful part of Melbourne.”
19 and 23 Bourke Street, Melbourne