he owners of Rue de Fleurus recently had a revelation: there’s a lot of power in a name. So after almost a year in operation, the crew decided to rename their French-influenced art salon/UK pub/cafe and, in the process, found what they had been looking for – The Wilde, a UK-inspired gastropub.
“The name Rue de Fleurus seemed like an obvious choice to us,” explains co-owner Wayne Markus. “We all enjoyed the idea of a setting like Gertrude Stein’s old art salon. We’re on Gertrude Street; Gertrude Stein lived on Rue de Fleurus. It felt natural for us.”
But for their customers, Rue de Fleurus wasn’t only difficult to pronounce, but also didn’t seem to reflect the pub’s vibe. “People kept asking us where the French food was,” laughs Markus.
But now, renamed and rebranded as The Wilde, the team has finally found their groove by embracing their UK influences as a new gastropub with a literary lilt.
Native Englishman Markus, alongside designer Aaron Mckenzie and Renan Goksin (Claypots), has nailed the stylings and relaxed vibe of the UK inspired gastropub perfectly. The interior is fitted with dark timber flooring and furniture, an old piano and whitewashed walls.
Englishman Howard Stamp (ex-Movida) has also joined The Wilde team as head chef and transformed the once eclectic menu into a relaxed, traditional and distinctly British affair.
Focusing on seasonal and available ingredients, The Wilde’s menu changes almost daily. But from Monday through to Saturday visitors can expect a range of UK-style foods like the pork, apple and sage sausage rolls, ham hock terrine with sourdough or classic, ale-battered fish and chips.
But certainly the highlight of the week at The Wilde is Sunday – a day dedicated entirely to the roast. Over the coming weeks, classic dishes like roast dry-aged Angus beef and Otway pork and apple sauce with all of the traditional trimmings will be on offer.
To drink, The Wilde offers an extensive range of beer and cocktails. There are a variety of Australian beers to sample, including Little Creatures on tap and Mountain Goat, Holgate or Mornington Peninsula by bottle. If beer sounds too chilly for wintertime, The Wilde’s hot-buttered rum is certainly for you – a perfect mixture of warmed cream, rum and cloves to sooth the soul.
With all of the changes, the strong drive for community remains the same at The Wilde. Keeping in style with Gertrude Stein’s art salon, The Wilde will continue to hold rotating art, film and music events and exhibitions.
As Markus explains, “We really wanted to create a pub-like atmosphere that’s relaxing, but also offered great food and a stimulating environment. And that’s where the art and film comes in. We want everyone to feel welcome here.”
153 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
0404 8484 78
Mon to Fri 4pm–late
Sat & Sun noon–late