If Flinders Street Station is part of your regular commute, you might have noticed something new next to Platform 13. Gone is the decrepit Sandridge train line and in its place is a new outdoor bar spanning 150 metres along the Yarra.
The Sandridge Line opened in 1854 and is part of Victoria’s gold rush history (Sandridge being the early name for what’s now Port Melbourne), but the line was closed almost three decades ago and the platform has been unused since.
Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, the new decked alfresco area connects the Princes Bridge and Southbank footbridge. Half that length is taken up with a large container housing a kitchen, bathrooms and two bars, which lights up like a glow worm when the sun goes down.
While it might seem as if the Arbory popped up out of the blue next to Melbourne’s busiest station, the project has been four years in the making. Behind the scenes, the HQ Group (the company behind the Coffee HQ stalls dotting Melbourne’s train network) has been collaborating with Metro Trains.
General manager Scott Markworth says the aim was to create an urban renewal development that fits nicely with the natural surroundings of the area.
“It’s all about bringing life back to what was a horribly disused section of the city, connecting the south and north bank and creating a new leisure space,” Markworth says.
Arbory, named after the natural canopy, or “arbor”, that the plane trees create overhead, is a rolling all-day operation open from 7am for breakfast until late.
For those in early the menu runs from coconut muesli and banana pancakes to corn fritters. As the day rolls on, out comes the double cheeseburger, hot dogs and crumbed mushroom burgers.
The drinks list has a focus on smaller craft beers and ciders from locals such as Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Thunder Road, Brunswick Bitter, Stone and Wood and Golden Axe Apple Cider. A cocktail list will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Flinders Walk, Melbourne
(03) 9621 2260
Daily 7.30am – late