Mt Erica Hotel
Mt Erica Hotel
**Opening in spring 2017
When the Mt Erica Hotel shut suddenly in December 2016, locals in Prahran, Windsor and Armadale wondered if its fate would be demolition.
But Prahran’s Mt Erica, built in 1853, has partial heritage protection. And its new tenants are Will Benjamin, Matt Vero and Callan Hitchens – the team behind Fitzroy’s Marquis of Lorne – together with chef Sean Donovan of the Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel.
The Marquis of Lorne owners have a rare 30-year lease and want to create for the place a similar feel to the Marquis – a neighbourhood pub that already has the makings of a worn-in local.
The renovation is a restoration project to give it back some of its warmth; the brief is to recapture the old Victorian 1950s and ’60s pub feel. The end result will be the same model as Marquis of Lorne – a classic, old-school public bar with a pub dining room, which is a contemporary Australian brasserie.
The space is big and interior designer Wendy Bergman is in charge of the fit-out, which includes the extension of an existing courtyard into a significant outdoor space with capacity for 150.
The food offering will be Sean Donovan’s domain. The menu at the Mt Erica will feature premium seafood, great steaks, all at a price that’s value for money. Think decent pub meals for $20.
The Erica won’t be a replica of its Fitzroy sibling. Instead the plan is for a brighter, more welcoming space than before. The pokies will be gone. The pints will remain.
Mt Erica, 420 High Street, Prahran will reopen in spring.