A new addition to the dining scene on Collingwood’s Smith Street opened last Wednesday. Gorski & Jones, named after the restaurant’s owners, Meaghan Gorski and Paul and Linda Jones – who also own Brunswick Street’s Alimentari – this smart room sits where The Last Record Store perched itself for the last 18 years.

The restaurant is the manifestation of an idea that the trio have been nurturing for the last few years and finding the right location was pivotal. Once they did, making it their own proved to be a labour of love and an exercise in using each of their individual skills to the fullest.

The trio balance each other out by what they bring to the table (pun intended). Paul is an accomplished chef, Linda has been running the successful Alimentari for the last 13 years and has a keen eye for quality of produce and experience with coffee and staffing, while Gorski is a hospitality professional and an artist with a undeniable eye for detail. It was Gorski who drew the initial sketches for the room and handed the ideas to artist David Murray, who built the tabletops, bar and wooden panelling for the walls.

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Once the enormous task of gutting the building was achieved, the three partners set about creating a room that is at once warm and inviting, and enhanced by an aesthetic that oozes modernity with bare brick walls, industrial lightshades, thoughtfully placed plant boxes and a long bar for enjoying an ever-changing daily selection of antipasti.

The antipasti, on display in the glass cabinet on the bar, supports a menu built around the large wood-fired oven. “We won’t be doing pizza,” says Gorski. “There’s fish and meats are all done in the wood-fire and we finish all the vegetables in there too.”

Gorski & Jones is designed to be an approachable, affordable experience. These three are all parents of young children and there’s a sense of style and practicality that creates a strong cohesion. There are plans for a barbeque out the back in the months to come for flame-grilled beasts and birds.

This is certainly a space worth watching.

*Gorski & Jones *
304 Smith Street, Collingwood
(03) 9417 7779

Tue to Sat 5pm–10.30pm