Andrew McConnell and his team at Trader House have had their eye on the drycleaner on the corner of Hosier and Flinders lanes, in the CBD, for some time – it’s just a couple of doors down from the hospitality group’s acclaimed diner Gimlet and, like all the buildings lining the iconic Hosier laneway, is covered in graffiti.
The location will be home to McConnell’s new bar – a “little sister” to Gimlet, the Trader House founder said at a media dinner at his fine diner, Cutler & Co, in November last year. Six months later Trader House announced the bar will be called Apollo Inn, and will open June 13.
The cocktail bar, which will occupy the ground floor of McDonald House – a neo-Renaissance style building dating to 1924, will have room for about 30 and no kitchen. Visitors can expect freshly shucked oysters, sea urchin scooped fresh from the shell and slices of jamon to accompany their drinks. Cameron Parish, who runs the bar at Gimlet, will oversee the new bar, too.
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Acme, the Sydney-based design firm responsible for Gimlet’s grand and glamourous dining room, has been enlisted for the interiors again here.
The new bar will mark Trader House’s fourth venue on Flinders Lane: Gimlet, two doors up; Supernormal, a few doors down; and Cumulus Inc. up towards Spring Street. (Some might argue that the true count is five, if you count Cumulus Inc. and its upstairs wine bar Cumulus Up as two.)
It’s not the only new spot McConnell and Jo McGann have on the agenda in 2023. Trader House will also open Supernormal Brisbane, the group’s first venue outside Victoria.
Apollo Inn will open at 165 Flinders Lane, Melbourne on June 13.
This article was updated on May 31 2023 to include the name and opening date of the bar.