After several teasing pop-ups, Sydney’s iconic Mary’s have brought their burgers to Melbourne permanently, opening their first venue in the city on Franklin Street.
Mary’s Co-founders Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham said they’re thrilled to finally be in Melbourne and a part of the city’s thriving hospitality industry.
“Melbourne is a fucking powerhouse of art, food, culture and community – one that we have admired for a long time,” Smyth said.
“We are excited to be working with some of the finest folk from our new neighbourhood to bring Melbourne a Mary’s that truly belongs to them.”
Graham added: “This is huge for us. It’s been a big part of the story since our inception, to come to Melbourne and prove our worth like it was day one all over again. The hospitality culture in Melbourne is so entrenched in its fabric that it’s an operator’s dream and intimidating in equal measure.”
The new location is the biggest Mary’s in the group, seating 140, and goes back to the roots of the first Mary’s in Newtown with a mezzanine that seats 60.
It has the spirit of the rest of the group with a Melbourne twist – the entrance is through an inconspicuous door in a graffitied alley, there’s a huge iron chandelier decked out in dead roses hanging from the ceiling, and the tiled design of the back bar spells out a cheeky phrase.
Mary’s Group Creative Director, Leyla Muratovic, explained the idea behind the design and said: “It was really important to us when looking at the Melbourne space (it’s cavernous!) to bring the Mary’s experience, theatre and warmth.”
“We want our people to have that sense of anticipation before they enter. No glamorous main entry, the traditional Mary’s way… laneway with a red light marking the spot. And then, a visual punch in the face when you walk through. 1800 wide custom wrought iron chandelier surrounded by 24,000 roses. It’s epic, beautiful and raw in a Mary’s kind of way.”
The food menu too, is everything we’ve come to know and love from Mary’s Sydney venues and it’s also joined by the vegan menu that was launched last year at their Circular Quay and Pitt Street locations.
Meanwhile, the drink menu features over 100 wines in a list curated by Mary’s Group Sommelier and Wine Director, Caitlyn Rees. Smyth said Mary’s has always had a connection to Victoria in this way and has long filled lists at their other locations with wines from the region.
Of the Melbourne offering, Smyth said: “The wine list is typical Mary’s – wild, a bit weird, chosen to crush thirsts, cool fevered brows and soothe aching hearts. Caitlyn has jumped fully on board with our ongoing support for the young and emerging winemakers of the world.”
Overall, Graham said the aim of the new location is simple: “We’re here to do what we do. To give our punters simple, delicious food, backed up with an experience that’s fun as hell.”
Mary’s Melbourne is open now, from 4pm Monday to Thursday and from midday Friday to Sunday.