At Liminal, diners can stop in for a coffee or glass of wine; pick up charcuterie, cheese and rotisserie meats; host meetings and events; and attend workshops in the demonstration kitchen.
Imagine you're late for work, so you grab a quick breakfast on the way in, a thick slice of pumpkin brioche with buffalo curd and honey, or a mozzarella, sage and white anchovy toastie. Later, in search of lunch, you pop down to the foyer to the rotisserie full of rotating golden chooks ready to be sliced and stuffed into a hot roll with gravy. After a busy day, all you can think about is wine and cheese. Lucky for you there's a store with more than 200 bottles, many in the mid-$20 range, and an eclectic cheese selection to match.
Liminal is a project by The Mulberry Group, who are best known for founding Higher Ground, The Kettle Black and Top Paddock. The group is known for using dramatic spaces – The Kettle Black is in an old Victorian terrace and Higher Ground is a former power station. The brief for the design of the 400-square-metre space at 161 Collins Street (which also houses cult croissanterie Lune) was to create a welcoming hub that would draw people down from the office tenancies upstairs, and in from the street.
The result is a space filled with curves and comfortable touches. Design studio The Stella Collective, which won awards for its work on The Kettle Black, designed the airy and elegant art deco space. Here, things are curved and comfortable. Banquettes are clad in soft olive leather, armchairs in grey velvet, stools in lamb’s wool. Custom-made light fixtures – black on white, or more ornate brushed bronze – are by Williamstown-based designer Anna Charlesworth. An imposing stone bench looks like it’s come straight from the quarry. It’s hard not to absentmindedly run your hand over its rough edges.
The spacious room on the ground floor of the historic T&G Building is bordered on one side by an expansive open kitchen. The rest of the space is broken up into distinct zones: eatery; grab-and-go; wine shop; cheese store; and private dining room, where a huge slab of sea-green marble takes centre stage.