Tiny Melbourne bar the best designed in Australia

The bar section of the fourth 2015 Eat-Drink-Design Awards has been taken out by South Melbourne bar Smalls.

The 24-seater wine bar was created by the multi-talented Jess Ho – the ex-Time Out bar reviewer, and Chin Chin media manager – and was designed by Fiona Lynch Office.

The transformed garage space, located in Yarra Place next to St Ali café, is “a very welcome addition to the local bar scene” that “whispers in a husky Belgian accent of its European aesthetic roots” according to the judges.

The bar features handmade ceramic tiles, leather hide wall coverings, herringbone parquet and Carrara marble tabletops, and the overall design blew the judging panel away.

The competition was fierce however, with Queensland and Victoria leading the pack in terms of bar design. In the category commendations were also given to: Coppersmith Hotel, by HASSELL, VIC; Bond Lounge, by Hachem, VIC; Maker, by ME, QLD; Heya Bar, by Surroundings, QLD; Hennessy Lounge, by Bates Smart, SA; and Heart Attack and Vine Café, by Nicky Adams in collaboration with Perarchitects, VIC.

In addition, Icebergs by Lazzarini Pickering was inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame, in recognition of its enduring influence in design and its position in the Australian culinary landscape, following its opening in 2002.

“I have always described the Icebergs design as my love letter to Sydney,” says Carl Pickering, one half of Rome-based practice Lazzarini Pickering.

The annual awards program recognises Australia and New Zealand’s design achievements in six categories; Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Temporary Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.

The jury for the 2015 Eat-Drink-Design Awards comprised: Karen Martini, chef, TV personality and restaurateur; Pascale Gomes-McNabb, architect, Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design; Stephen Todd, Australian Financial Review design editor; Stuart Krelle, interior designer, Luchetti Krelle; and Cameron Bruhn, editorial director Architecture Media.

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