His name is Leonard. He’s an unassuming little old house on Wilson Street in South Yarra. He's full of chicken: charcoal and fried.
Unlike its sister venue, Sweetwater Inn nearby, Leonard’s House of Love will be more of a saloon bar doing really simple bar food. But not too simple. Also on board is partner and Chef Nick Stanton, recently of Longhorn and Nieuw Amsterdam. He knows a thing or two about good ol’ dude food and having grown up on a diet of charcoal chicken from the local corner shop, his newest kitchen is bringing back the childhood chook. Except this time, it’ll be glazed with reduced Coca-Cola for extra shine and crisp.
“No cowboy shit,” says Stanton, just proper charcoal chicken. The menu will also include burgers, poutine, mash and salad options all served in boxes, no plates, erring on KFC-fashion.
It’s not like a formal restaurant. Instead they’re going for a, “1970s lounge room in a log cabin” vibe says co-owner Mark Catsburg.
And with a huge courtyard out the back, which circles the house, it’ll just feel like a professional house party. Inside, the lounge room is the dance floor, fixed with a disco ball. In a separate room there is a pool table and a dartboard, similar to a clubhouse.
The focus will be on fine spirits, ’70s-throwback cocktails and a selection of beers ranging from easy-drinking to more complicated.
The venue is by current Sweetwater Inn owners Catsburg and Guy Bentley, together with bar manager Jonathan Harper.
Leonard’s House of Love is slated to open in mid June.
Leonard’s House of Love 3 Wilson Street, South Yarra