CBD office workers now have more reasons to schedule off-site meetings with the opening of a new food hub bridging the 360 Collins building and Little Collins Street.
If the term “food hub” suggests an airless space where people go to inhale fast food, 360 Collins is not that. Its six main eateries are set around a curved courtyard with a grassy space at the centre. According to architect Bates Smart, this is one of only a few remaining north-facing plazas in Melbourne’s CBD. The spot means more options for breakfast, lunch and dinner south of Elizabeth Street.
Burger joint 8bit will open there soon with space to seat 120 and a liquor licence. Billy’s Lane (sister venue to William Street’s Little Billy) and Hawaiian-themed Pokéd are in the “coming soon” category. Pappa Rich, Earl Canteen and Sushi & Nori are already open, and Brunswick coffee roaster Code Black has set up inside 360 Collins’s imposing foyer.
At this stage Pappa Rich is open until 7pm daily, and Sushi & Nori will stay open until 9pm Wednesday to Friday. 8bit will be “grilling till late every day” says head chef and co-owner Shayne McCallum.
Earl Canteen has used a grey and gold palette to create cosy, cushioned nooks. Sushi & Nori’s fit-out is a mix of light timber and blue, green and white wall tiles. On the opposite side on the courtyard, 8bit’s retro game design is gradually emerging from behind construction material.
When it opens 8bit will offer a limited-edition Streets of Rage burger with chicken, bacon, beef and two kinds of hot sauce. “I’ve nicknamed it the three-animal burger,” says McCallum. It’s a collaboration with Melbourne Hot Sauce.
“I’m into my independent beers,” he adds about the drinks menu. “We’re using Stomping Ground from Collingwood as well as Hawkers, which is based in Reservoir.”
McCallum adds that 8bit’s look at 360 Collins is different to its intentionally grungy vibe. It’s more polished and comfortable in the hope office workers will stay late to sample a few of those local beers.