With each new venue, Hootan Heydari and Jono Hill moved ever closer to Collingwood. A Minor Place flirted with the Coburg/Brunswick divide. Wide Open Road was Brunswick proper. Heartattack and Vine jumped another postcode to Carlton. And now, the inexorable pull has drawn the restaurateurs Smithstreetward for their latest all-day diner, Bedford Street.
“It’s not on the main strip where the action happens, but it’s a beautiful building and it fit exactly with the type of ideas we had,” says Heydari.
Once the home of Czech restaurant Heart of Europe, Bedford Street exchanged its barrel-clad interior for vintage light fittings, a brass-rimmed bar and a judicious use of neon. It’s Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner interpreted by Melbourne architect Nicky Adams (really). “She goes with what the building is, rather than against it,” Heydari says. “There were crazy arches in here we’ve kept and gone with. There’s a lot of natural light and a lot of glass.”
Front-of-house veteran Mark Jacobson is a partner, as is chef Daniel Dobra. His time at the Royal Mail, The Beaufort Bar and Brutale is distilled into ultra-savoury dishes such as cannoli stuffed with duck-liver parfait, cut with fresh coffee grounds, and an inspired update on the ’80s favourite Devils on Horseback.
Iterations of his menu are available throughout the day; breakfast might consist of a crab-and-trout omelette, and lunch is almost definitely a hot-chicken sandwich – a crisp piece of chook and slaw between two thick wedges of white bread. “The fried-hot-chicken sandwich is what got me initially,” explains Heydari. “We know that chicken has been done, but this is crazy.”
Being an all-day joint, coffee and cocktails are available at any hour – be it bacon-washed bourbon with pine syrup, lemon and egg-white; a pint of Powerstance Pilsner; a glass of Alchemy Syrah or a mug of Wide Open Road’s specialty filter blend.
11–13 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Mon to Fri 7am–11pm
Sat & Sun 8am–11pm