It’s been more than three years since news first broke of leading Melbourne restaurateur Chris Lucas recruiting Martin Benn and Vicki Wild – the duo behind Sydney’s internationally regarded Sepia – for an ambitious new venue in Melbourne.

Last year it was revealed that would take the form of an avant-garde restaurant and bar to be housed at 80 Collins, a multimillion-dollar development of a heritage-listed CBD building.

Now, the trio of hospitality heavyweights has more news to share: a name, an expected opening date and some intriguing design details.

The restaurant is called Society, and it’s slated to open in late March 2021.

The fit-out, by Melbourne design firm Russell & George, will be “a contemporary reimagining of mid-century”. Grand yet intimate, it promises a 180-degree outlook over Collins and Exhibition streets. There’ll be three distinct but seamlessly connected spaces: a lavish, Martini-perfect lounge bar; a breezy terrace for al fresco dining; and a main restaurant with lofty ceilings (as well as private dining areas).

Each space will have its own tailored, à la carte menu. “It’ll be avant-garde, but we’re not locking people in,” Benn told Broadsheet last year. “We don’t want to force people into a set menu. We’re not getting people in for a ‘journey’. You can come in and out. We want it to be useful.”

80 Collins’ luxe retail and dining precinct opened earlier this year. Still to come is a luxury boutique hotel, high-end retail shops, and Alejandro Saravia’s three-storey Farmer’s Daughters restaurant.

Updated: December 5th, 2020

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