Ricky & Pinky, Andrew McConnell’s contemporary Chinese restaurant inside the walls of the Builders Arms Hotel, will close from July 1. The front bar of the pub will remain open during a short renovation on the dining room that will remove the diner's signature fish tanks and brass piping. On July 6, it will reopen as the Builders Arms Bistro.
“Ricky and Pinky was a good restaurant, but in hindsight it was too much of a change for that location. The Builders Arms Hotel holds such nostalgia and history in Melbourne and we are only custodians. A building like that needs to be part of the city, part of the community, so for now we are focusing on the evolution of the Builders,” McConnell said in a statement.
In the absence of Ricky & Pinky, the Builders Arms will extend its offering of classic-bistro cooking that includes rotisserie meat, steaks and its famous fish pie throughout the venue. The weekly Monday Steak Night and Charcoal Chicken Tuesday specials will also continue. The only point of difference between the front bar and the updated dining room will be the availability of table service in the latter.
In 2016 McConnell converted his fine diner Moon Under Water into what is now Ricky & Pinky, with chef Archan Chan at the helm. The menu was inspired by her upbringing in Hong Kong, McConnell's own time spent living there, and greater-regional Chinese cuisine.