It’s been a busy few months bringing The Broadsheet Restaurant to life. It’s purpose has been to share the best of Melbourne’s dining scene all in one place. Now the pop-up is in its final days, calling last orders this Sunday August 2. But the restaurant has been more than just a celebration of local restaurants and cafes – it has also been a platform to showcase some of Melbourne’s emerging and iconic designers and producers. Meet our collaborators …

The Architecture – Therefore Studio
Fitzroy-based architect Alex Lake of Therefore Studio worked closely with The Company You Keep and the Broadsheet team to execute the restaurant’s design. “They had some concepts and we had some concepts and then we brought it together, which was kind of a cool way of doing it,” Lake says. The design hits a new middle ground combining an up-market restaurant with temporary pop-up constraints – acknowledging the transient lifespan of the space, yet cloaking it in a permanent feel. “The brief called for a project that pinpointed elements of Melbourne’s best hospitality offerings, taking design cues from more permanent venues, while still achieving the functional aspirations of a temporary event,” Lake says. “We were shooting for something real and authentic, yet easy to make – I think where we ended up is a good testament to that.”

The Sparkling Water – CAPI
While diners are familiar with seeking the origins of coffee and wine, water is often a forgotten component in dining. “With the premise of The Broadsheet Restaurant being about collaborating with ‘some of the best’ in Melbourne, it seemed the perfect fit for our Melbourne-based brand to be included,” says Pitzy Folk, owner of CAPI. The brand’s mineral water, mixers (tonic for G&Ts) and fruit sodas are bottled direct from Australian natural springs. "We had lots of sparkling water to choose from, but it was important for us to work with a brand that is local and of high quality. CAPI is a really excellent example of a local brand doing amazing things," says Broadsheet publisher Nick Shelton. Running the bar is the team from The Tender, which works closely with CAPI, and prefers to use local products, from water to wine.

The Chairs – Dowel Jones
Lake engaged Clifton Hill-based furniture makers Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch of Dowel Jones to shape the chairs for the pop-up. Lake worked with the pair on fit-outs for Square & Compass and most recently Homeslice Pizza, so he knew they could meet the deadline and budget constraints. “Working with local manufacturers allows you to cut timings, and if you want to customise aspects, being able to work face-to-face is invaluable in the finer points of furniture making,” he says. Dowel Jones designed the bar stool under Lake’s direction, creating a piece that was strong and functional. “We were given a brief for what was needed for the Broadsheet project and worked with the rest of our Hurdle range to develop something incredibly practical, yet still working with detailing to create something interesting,” Hardiman says. The pair is a rare breed in modern furniture, sourcing materials from local manufacturers and making by hand. “All of the elements involved in the stool were manufactured either in Dandenong South, Templestowe, Thomastown or Coburg North,” Hardiman says.

The Plates – Robert Gordon
For the restaurant’s plates and bowls, Broadsheet collaborated with Packenham-based pottery Robert Gordon to create individual, handmade pieces. “Good restaurants care about their plates and like to match to the menu,” Sam Gordon says of the s turdy, ceramic tableware. The company sources its clay locally and makes its tableware to order, meaning tight-turnaround custom designs for restaurants are the norm. “For The Broadsheet Restaurant, we worked in with the tables, the paints, the lighting and the menu to choose colours and shapes. It was a matter of sampling back and forth until we arrived at the natural organic glazes and tones to match the fit-out.”

The Outdoor Furniture – Tait
Enticing people to an outdoor courtyard in the middle of winter in Melbourne was always going to be a challenge. Local designers Tait supplied the furniture for the outdoor space, including the communal Flint table by Ross Gardam and the Jak Chair and Jil Table by Justin Hutchinson – both Melbourne designers. “We could see a strong alignment between Broadsheet and Tait – we’re both very Melbourne centric,” says Gordon Tait. “Coincidentally, we had just finished a tradeshow and had some pieces that fitted The Broadsheet Restaurant perfectly,” Tait says. The company’s pieces are usually made to order.

The Coffee – Small Batch
Small Batch Roasting Co. runs the coffee at the restaurant, batch-brewing its own filter varietals and curating a selection of Melbourne’s best roasters. “We worked really closely with Broadsheet’s restaurant manager Jamie McBride (of Barry) to ensure we were able to deliver a product we were all proud of,” says head roaster Tim Varney. “And with Assembly as the tea suppliers – they have some truly beautiful teas on offer as well.” Varney says the thought and focus behind the service of each product was a pleasure to see. “There were no corners cut even though it was a pop-up.”

The Photography – Brooke Holm
Melbourne-based commercial and fine-art photographer Brooke Holm is the creative talent behind the three dreamy landscapes that feature on the restaurant’s walls. The photos were originally commissioned by Broadsheet for a series on Tasmania. Using them in the restaurant meant the chance to exhibit their beauty in tangible, larger-than-digital life. “The collaboration came about when Broadsheet was looking for Australian landscapes to suit the space,” Holm says. “These images sprang to mind when the space was being considered – they work in the space both tonally and in terms of subject matter.”

The Broadsheet Restaurant is open until this Sunday August 2. Only two days to go!

The Broadsheet Restaurant
166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Mon & Tue 7am–4pm
Wed to Sun 7am–1am