Culture Vol I

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The handsome Pacific House, a five-storey building with Romanesque window arches, has stood on Lonsdale Street since 1903. It was built to serve as the administrative headquarters of Sniders & Abrahams, a cigar and cigarette manufacturer that owned several buildings on the block.

In 2022, after a complete facelift, it reopened as Her, a multi-faced drinking, dining and music venue by HQ Group (Arbory Bar & Eatery, Arbory Afloat).

This heritage-listed site has strong ties to Melbourne’s art scene, which largely informs the new concept. Art and light installations feature prominently throughout, most notably a custom-lit stairwell by French designer Hervé Descottes.

Her Rooftop, on level five, is an the open-air oasis on top of the building, serving barbeque-driven, share-friendly Thai food and a complementary selection of natural wines and fruit-forward cocktails. The design is bright and playful, with Italian marble floors, orange velvet banquettes and Parisian-inspired skirted stools. That said, uninterrupted city views make it hard to forget you’re in Melbourne. With glass balustrades and dual retractable awnings, it’s the perfect all-weather spot to soak up the surrounds.

CIENNE. Round Crystal Mirror

Below this is BKK, tiny, lively, theatrical Thai restaurant named after the airport code for Bangkok. It’s from this energetic kitchen that Her Rooftop’s food comes.

Next down is Music Room, a soundproof bar and listening space. It’s fitted with warm timber panels and cushy velvet booths, and stocked with a varied range of spirits and hard-to-find vinyl.

On the ground floor is Her Bar, a cocktail bar and eatery open almost round the clock. Come here in the morning for bacon and egg rolls and Market Lane coffee, or in the evening for French-inspired share plates, such as duck frites and raclette-topped burgers.


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