In the same week he opened the doors to his Fitzroy butcher, Meatsmith (it opened yesterday afternoon), chef and restaurateur Andrew McConnell has announced the opening of a wine bar in the space next door to Cutler & Co. that once housed the first incarnation of Supernormal.
Tacking a wine bar onto an existing restaurant isn’t new for McConnell, having most recently done it with Cumulus Up.
McConnell says he’s eager for Marion to have a separate identity to that of her siblings.
“Although I do think of Marion as an extension of Cutler & Co. – something which complements what we do there – I think it also needs to stand up by itself and have its own identity and direction,” says McConnell.
That doesn’t mean she won’t borrow heavily from the 15-year-old cellar at Cutler & Co., though. The only printed document you’ll receive upon entry into the 60-seater is “an epic wine list”. The list, put together by McConnell, Cutler sommelier Liam O’Brien and Marion FOH manager and sommelier Andrew Joy, will start with what’s in Cutler’s cellar, adding wines the guys are enjoying, including some orange and some natural wines.
“We don’t want to create too many rules for ourselves. If it’s made well, if we enjoy it and if it’s got some integrity, then we’ll serve it,” says McConnell.
Heading the kitchen is Allan Eccles, who was previously the sous chef at Cutler & Co. The food offering will be scribbled daily on a board, allowing the team to casually change and evolve the menu: “It will be flexible, and very spontaneous,” says McConnell. “It’s structured in such a way that it can be used just for a snack, or a quick bowl of pasta on your way through. Or you could stay and build your own degustation menu.” Breakfast will be served from 8am on weekends.
“A wine bar should never be static, it should always be moving, it should always be exciting, it should be fast, it should evolve,” McConnell says. “I’m sure what we open next week won’t be the same in four weeks time and then again in eight weeks and 12 weeks.”
Marion is slated to open on October 23 at 51–53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
Tue to Fri 5pm–11pm
Sat & Sun 8am–11pm