Cutler & Co
After 8 years at the sharp end of Fitzroy’s vibrant dining scene, Cutler & Co was ripe for a creative makeover.
The rejuvenated Cutler & Co bistro and bar is a collision of the senses. Think contemporary mixed with antique. Custom-design competing with junk-shop memorabilia. A whimsical play of opposites that somehow work together.
The client’s brief was to reinvigorate the space, reengage existing patrons and attract new ones, elevate the style and presentation, create intriguing new drinking and dining zones and incorporate an outlook to the rear laneway.
Given the established architectural envelope, the client did not want to over capitalise. The project therefore demanded working within a very contained budget. The biggest challenge was to minimize shut-down time and work to an extremely tight construction timeframe of 2.5 weeks from start to finish.
Incorporating the original whitewashed brick walls, the design’s materials draw on rich textural elements to tangibly represent Synaesthesia: earthy brown leather and smoky timber; rich mossy suede with turbulent green marble; crystalline glazed doors and quartz-like table tops.
No matter how many times a patron visits the restyled Cutler & Co they will be surprised to discover something new. This sense of exploration and discovery engages patrons in the sensory experience and keeps them coming back for more.
Lighting reminiscent of the Art Deco period creates atmosphere and awe. Sculptured semicircular booths create quiet intimacy. A light-flooded open kitchen displays frenetic activity. Knobbly gourds and pumpkins sit alongside elegantly styled bar tables. An elaborately ornate side table, at home in a Versailles drawing room, rests against the raw unfinished factory brick wall.
The refreshed layout fosters progressive culinary journeys, from the intimate twosome to the revelrous function group – from drinks and taster plates to share at the front bar, to the buzz of the cosy banquettes in the main dining room, to more intimate lounging by the fire towards the rear of the space.
Cutler & Co. is proof that success in hospitality can come around twice for a single venue. With a strong and devoted customer base, it was important to retain the essence of the old, and rejuvenate with the new. A novel, and more sustainable approach to the ever-changing dining scene in Melbourne.
What was once a restaurant destination, for celebrations and important moments alike, is now a place to look forward to for a multitude of experiences. Whether in the couple friendly green booths for a date, or at the high bar tables in the window for after work drinks, Cutler & Co. is no longer only a special occasion experience.
Cutler & Co pushes the boundaries of sensory interplay. It’s a celebration of difference. A disruption of the senses. A century-old metalworks factory reformed into an innovative example of memorable modern dining.