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After 12 years in the iconic George building, Simon Jones and Greg Kahan knew The Long Room was due for a rebrand. The George on Collins was the result – a refined all-day venue that emphasises the heritage space without sacrificing its implicit modernity.

Interior design firm Hecker Guthrie (Ugly Duckling,East, Foxes Den) was brought on for the refurbishment and fit-out. Co-founder Hamish Guthrie worked on one version of the space back in the ’90s, when the building was a brasserie, so he understood the balancing act required while working on the Georges building.

The new George occupies the basement, which meant it needed a different colour and lighting approach than aboveground projects. The walls and ceilings were painted a crisp, bright white, punctuated by textured curtains that draw attention towards the softly lit booths. The main dining area is divided by an imposing granite bar, where diners can perch with a drink or dinner.

There’s also privacy if you want it. The George’s front rooms, booths, lounge area, and drinking and dining sections are all cleverly zoned in naturalistic ways.

Five menus are deployed across the day, from breakfast through to late-night snacks. Each menu demonstrates a modern-European influence, with a reliance on local produce. There’s also a focus on sharing, with larger plates such as the 12-hour lamb shoulder, which is aged for 14 days then slow-cooked, or the charcuterie and antipasti boards.

House cocktails join an extensive range of local and imported beers and spirits. It’s all bolstered by a cosmopolitan wine list from legendary sommelier and maître d’ Ainslie Lubbock, who’s welcomed guests at humble institutions such as Attica, Pei Modern, The Royal Mail and Cutler & Co.