Virginia Plain is no longer, but don’t be sad – the Flinders Lane space has been reincarnated as Mercy Bar and Eatery, and it’s a little more laidback.
With customers looking for a more casual experience, the team decided it was time for a change. “Over the last few months, we’d been relaxing the food and trying to [relax] the service. We gained a very positive responsive from this and decided to commit ourselves 100 per cent in this direction,” says Mat Beyer, front-of-house.
While the atmosphere has changed, the players are the same. It’s still Marco Santucci’s place and Andy Harmer is still helming the kitchen. The menu is offering more relaxed options. Snacks include Bloody Mary oysters, crispy quail and chicken bagels, while larger dishes include Wagyu intercostal salad and pork belly. The drinks menu focuses less on premium wines and more on everyday drops as well as a rotating craft beer selection.
Along with some repurposing of the furniture, Mercy also has a new paint job, complete with touches of street art. “We have got artist Steve Cross to do a quite a few huge pieces using mixed mediums…[chiefly] using spray paint,” says Beyer.
At the end of the day, Mercy is a place where people will be comfortable and that’s exactly what the team is going for. “We want Mercy to become your local in the city, for a few cheeky drinks, a snack and quick lunch, or for a five-course degustation,” says Beyer.
We’ll remember Virginia Plain fondly. But we’re ready to meet Mercy.