10 August

Sugar Mountain making a return in 2016

Sugar Mountain

Happily, Sugar Mountain – staged at the Victorian College of the Arts for the first time last year, after taking a year off – just announced that it’s returning for its fifth year. The line-up’s still under wraps, but, based on past experience, you can expect a progressive and surprising mix of music and arts – last year’s highlights included everything from NAS’s start-to-finish run through of Illmatic, enfant terrible Ariel Pink giving it his electro-brat best and dirty-rock monsters King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard ripping it up.

We’ll keep you posted as further details drop.

Sugar Mountain Victorian College of the Arts. Sat Jan 23, 2016.Read more

10 August

Uniqlo coming to Eastland late 2015


If you grew up in the eastern suburbs, chances are you spent some time at Eastland as a kid – not because it was cool, but rather as a matter of necessity. Times have changed though and Eastland’s come a long, long way, baby.

The fact that Eastland’s investing $665 mill in its refurb goes to show that it’s taking the facelift super seriously. As does the fact that they’re attracting retailers the likes of H&M and Uniqlo – who has just announced that it’ll be joining the retail stable and bringing its high quality, modest cost, wardrobe staples with it (where else can you get a cotton-cashmere sweater for just shy of $50?).

The other neat development is the addition of a ritzy food court – can you even call it a food court when you’re getting George Calombaris on board? Look forward to Jimmy Grants (Calombaris’ souvlaki with style shop), Pacos Tacos and Huxtaburger setting up shop, as well as concept venues like the Cellar Door, which is slated to have a rooftop garden and bar, and Hunter and Barrel – basically a celebration of meat, craft beers and curiosity-piquing barrel-aged cocktails.… Read more

4 August

Gills Diner is closing down, to be replaced by Emilia Trattoria


Pay one last visit to one of Melbourne CBD’s most beloved cafes before it shuts for good. After almost eight years (which is decades in hospitality years), Gills Diner is closing up shop on Saturday August 8 to reopen as Emilia Trattoria on Monday August 24.

While restauranteur Con Christopoulos (of Journal, City Wine Shop and The European fame) will still be behind the new business, the change in direction comes with a change in focus to “a more authentic and inspiring Italian menu”, as mentioned in a statement from Gills Diner management.

A long-time go-to eatery for morning bread runs (from the adjoining Commercial Bakery), weekday breakfasts and lunch meetings for city dwellers, Gills Diner’s current offering already has a serious leaning towards traditional Italian – think antipasti followed by a pasta course and sides – with a serious wine list to boot. Under the eatery’s new iteration as Emilia Trattoria, chefs Luca Flammia and Franceco Rota will draw from their own heritage to create a more focused Italian menu, drawing influences from Bologna and Modena.Read more

4 August

Melbourne Festival program launches today: here are our highlights

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World-class arts light up the city in October as part of the Melbourne Festival’s stellar 30th anniversary program

As proof that the Melbourne Festival grows more innovative and broad-ranging each year, the 2015 program boasts 74 arts events over 18 days; 17 of which are Australian premieres, and 15 of which are exclusive to this year’s festival. The program spans theatre, dance, music, film, circus and visual art from international and local artists, and you’ll need a good stretch of time to get through the highlights and plan your experience. Tickets are on sale now.

In keeping with the last two years, the festival will open with Tanderrum: a ceremony that will see elders from the five clans of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja Wurrung) unite for a powerful affirmation of Koorie culture, comprising dance, storytelling and song.

A much-anticipated theatre highlight is the chilling, powerful adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984, created by UK theatre company Headlong.Read more

3 August

Saigon Sally, Hanoi Hannah and Tokyo Tina to get a new sister

Time Out Melbourne

Popular Windsor trio Saigon Sally, Hanoi Hannah and Tokyo Tina will be getting a new member to the family, with an Elwood venue set to open later this year or early in 2016.

While speculation of an entirely new restaurant has been rife (we were anticipating a Beijing Betty or maybe a Seoul Sarah), the new venue will be a twin of one of the existing restaurants. The team behind the Windsor sisters are letting their fans pick which restaurant will be duplicated further down south with a voting competition that in underway now until August 4.

In exchange for votes, participants will have the chance to win a $150 voucher to use at their favourite restaurant.

UPDATE: The public has spoken and the verdict is in. Hanoi Hannah will be setting up in Elwood and will be the first venue in the pan-Asian group to settle beyond the southside’s Golden Triangle.Read more