“Friends, I’m excited to share this news,” began Attica chef-owner Ben Shewry in a post on Instagram yesterday. He has announced a new era for his world-famous restaurant.


Attica will close briefly in late February to undergo “the first ever major redesign of our dining room,” Shewry wrote.

If Architecure – the studio behind Andrew McConnell’s Marion Wine Bar, Stillwater at Crittenden Estate on the Mornington Peninsula and a redesign of St Kilda cafe Il Fornaio – is refurbishing the interior.

Specifics on what the new space will look like are few, except that the changes will be dramatic.

“Can’t wait to share more details but I think it’s fair to say that it will look very different than its current incarnation,” he said on Instagram.

That incarnation is simple and spare, with dark walls, white tablecloths, a large central bar and a handful of artwork scattered throughout – it’s a minimal design that encourages diners to focus on the food in front of them.

The redesign is an example of why Shewry continually finds himself on “world’s best” lists. Attica was named 33rd best in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards last year. For many restaurateurs, such accolades might encourage an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. Shewry, though, is taking a hammer to his dining room.

It’s something Chris Lucas did last year at Chin Chin, with a renovation of the then five-year-old restaurant on Flinders Lane, including a total overhaul of GoGo Bar. Chin Chin executive chef Benjamin Cooper was one of the first to comment on the Instagram announcement. “It's a cathartic and challenging experience all in one,” he wrote, after wishing Shewry congratulations.

No word yet on when Attica will reopen after its February hiatus.