Less than two weeks after announcing two new CBD venues with chef Tom Sarafian, Nathan Toleman’s Mulberry Group (Hazel, Lilac, Square One Rialto) has today announced it’s opening two additional venues. Molli and Little Molli will be sibling spots on the corner of Mollison and Nicholson streets in Abbotsford.

Molli will be a bar and bistro, with next-door spot Little Molli opening as a deli, cafe and provisions shop hybrid. Aleksis Kalnins, who is currently head chef at Mulberry Group restaurant Hazel, will lead the kitchen at both venues, which are due to open in June. The two venues are located in the Bauhaus-inspired Craftworks office building.

At Molli, there’ll be small and large plates like pork neck skewers made using the Josper oven. There’ll be a rooftop garden, from which the team aims to source as many ingredients as possible. The drinks will be overseen by Kayla Saito, who plans to use house-made ferments and change the offering seasonally.

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At Little Molli, there’ll be sandwiches made using focaccia and ciabatta rolls from To Be Frank, with fillings including smoked pork shoulder with whipped cod roe. There’ll also be a selection of charcuterie and cheeses available to take away or to enjoy in the venue with a glass of wine.

The new spots are opposite the street where Toleman, a key figure in Melbourne’s cafe world, opened his cafe Three Bags Full 14 years ago. “It really is a homecoming, and we want Molli to feel like home,” says Toleman of the upcoming venues. “We want to make Molli and Little Molli a super-approachable hub where locals can connect,” he adds.

Molli and Little Molli are expected to open in June 2024 at 20–30 Mollison Street, Abbotsford.