Made in the Shade (MITS) – the team behind The Everleigh and Heartbreaker – will launch their third venue, Bar Margaux, in a basement on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD this May.
The bar will be the newest opening from the expanding hospitality group helmed by Michael and Zara Madrusan, who also include Connie’s Pizza, The Everleigh Bottling Co. and Navy Strength Ice Co on their list of recent ventures.
Bar Margaux is inspired by the six years that Michael Madrusan, MITS founder and co-owner, spent tending bar in New York City alongside his sister in the early 2000s. New York-style Parisian brasseries like Schiller’s, Pastis and Balthazar are named as particular inspirations.
“Every new project is a lesson,” says Michael Madrusan. “We release it out into the world, we watch, we listen and we evolve.
“This one’s been on the plan I opened The Ev. Had I had the money back then, I’d have put her downstairs, where Belle’s is now. So it took a few years to realise, but I’m more passionate about the concept now than I’ve ever been.”
The 80-seat venue will be open 7 days, from the afternoon through to late at night, all week long. Guests can drop in for cocktails and wine and enjoy the full dinner menu at the bar, or take a table in the main dining room, or intimate private dining area suited to groups of up to 10.
As with all MITS venues, Michael will direct the drinks program, working alongside Marty McCaig, MITS group manager of three years and co-owner of South Yarra’s South Press, who will champion the wine program – which will focus on Champagne and classic French varietals plus a blend of natural wine producers.
Michael’s cocktails will play a key role in the Bar Margaux experience with an interesting selection of wine based, aperitif-style cocktails, and half-sized Martinis and Manhattans set to feature on the list.
Daniel Southern (ex-Vue Group and L’Oustal) has recently taken on the role of group executive chef and will oversee the Bar Margaux menu, as well as the menus at the group’s other venues. Southern will deliver a menu of French classics until midnight followed by a substantial supper menu unti 5am.
The interior will also take cues from the Parisian-influenced brasseries of New York – think white subway tile, deep red banquettes, a zinc bar top and chequered flooring.
“We personify all of our projects and this one is no different,” adds Zara Madrusan. “Margaux is going to be a combination of all of our venues’ offerings; she’ll be sophisticated and feminine, but lively and late. We’re big on the vibe and always serve people before drinks. The drinks will be quality, and the food will be tasty.”