Collingwood has got a new kid on the block and we’re all pretty excited about it. American diner meets Melbourne designer-cafe at this new haunt, where chicken and waffles is actually a thing.
The folks behind Wide Open Road and Heartattack and Vine can officially do no wrong it seems, launching their brand new venue, Bedford Street, last week. The diner-style eatery is simple and stylish, yet with a homely vibe that makes you want to sit for hours, read the paper (do the crossword) and while your afternoon away.
Hootan Hedari and Jono Hill are the link between the three popular eateries, each with their own point of difference, ensuring us that Bedford Street is a whole new kettle of fish (or plate of fried chicken to be exact). “With each venue, we try to be a bit more ambitious in terms of what our abilities are; we like to turn it up a notch in terms of what we’ve done before. With Wide Open Road, we explored the idea of roasting coffee because we’ve never done that before, and with Heartattack and Vine we took on the idea of all-day trading. With Bedford Street, we’ve tried to take it up another notch for ourselves by actually engaging a full kitchen and making a bigger venue,” Hootan said.
On the ground, making the magic happen is Manager, Mark Jacobson, who’s been on board with Wide Open Road, alongside Head Chef, Daniel Dobra, previously of Beaufort, Royal Mail and Brutal. “It’s all a team effort here, we just find good people to work with and then we stick to them,” Hootan said.
He said it’s this team effort that brought together the concept of Bedford Street too, a similarly organic process to their other venues. Luxe red booth seating is combined with gold metal finishes, clean lines and crisp textures, leading to a stylish twist on the diner concept. There’s also stark red neon lighting lining the building too, an element Hootan reveals is one of many features inspired by Bladerunner. “When a venue comes up for us, we look at what we can do with the space and we put in the appropriate team that can make that happen. We kind of just go with whatever the building is and has, and work with it,” he said.
Part of this process is matching the design elements and feel of the space with the menu, which has all developed as the project has blossomed. “We wanted a place you could come at any time of day and make it your local. I don’t want to say it’s a diner or a cafe or a restaurant because it’s a bit of all of them,” he said.
The all-day menu is brimming with delicious morsels with an over-the-top American flair. Breakfast sees old faithfuls the likes of hotcakes with citrus sugar and soured cream while lunch is a delightful combination of sweet and savoury fare. The fried chicken and waffles are already a hit, served with whipped bourbon butter and maple syrup. It’s a little bit naughty, highly decadent and very moorish. Forget hangovers, this is your cure right here. Top it off with a crisp beer and you’re off to a good start (or end) to the day.
Dinner is also on offer, complemented by a curated wine, beer and cocktail list. Matt Roberts (manager of Heartattack and Vine) has created the inventive cocktail list that sees twists on some of the classic old favourites. Think a dirty martini but with house-pickled ochre instead of olives, and an old fashioned using popcorn-washed-bourbon. “You just have to try it to know what we’re talking about,” Hootan said. We’ll see you there.