Southside Update: Who’s Doing What Where?
by The Editor
There’s a fair bit happening on the Southern side of the lake – mostly around Kingston. It seems that one of the oldest areas in town is set for a whole lot of activity along the Jardine Street strip. This week will see off an institution, while some long-rumoured mega-venues take shape.
Firstly, Saturday night is the last night of reverie at The Holy Grail in Green Square. It opened in October 1997 at half its current size, and at the time represented the return of the wine bar. Huge success followed, with an instant clientele often stretching down the street to get in on a Friday and Saturday night. The Holy Grail took the mantle of politician’s heaven from La Grange, claiming Wednesday nights on sitting weeks as its own for the best part of a decade.
Who knows how many national stories broke between the hours of 11.00pm and 2.00am as heavily lubricated journos grilled staffers and MPs alike for gems of information on which to claim the next headline. It was legendary stuff, and it seems the Press Gallery hasn’t had the staying power since.
Once vacant, it will be interesting to see what Soc Kochinos comes up with, given there has been talk of a Suburban on the Southside for years now. It’s a good fit, being far enough from Dickson so as not to eat its own. The trick will be to protect other parts of the empire, namely Public, Belluci’s and Urban Pantry. With the First Floor restaurant upstairs vacant for several years, and the shoe shop next door closing down, rumours abound the new venue could run all the way to the corner. We’ve even heard talk of a gourmet drive-thru burger joint being part of the complex that can be accessed via Highgate Lane. However, we’d be as surprised as anyone if that one came to fruition.
Meanwhile, at the corner of Jardine and Giles Street, businesses have been fleeing the mini-arcade in preparation a new restaurant and bar to be built by Sharif of Ottoman Cuisine in Barton. The grapevine (fittingly) tells us a wine bar is due to go upstairs at the top of the escalators outside of the IGA supermarket. Downstairs will be a steakhouse – something definitely lacking over the bridge, but should certainly aspire to greater heights than ‘cook yer own’ at The Kingo. There’s only two of the six businesses still trading in the arcade, and the supermarket has built a new set of entry doors leading directly on to the footpath. It’s just a matter of when the hairdresser and gift shop will vacate and allow construction to commence.
So, plenty happening. We reported a few weeks ago the Lonsdale Street Roasters gang were sniffing our a Giles Street venue The trail has gone cold on that particular rumour, however there is still talk of a third Lonsdale outlet. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for our coming Northside update for that one!