MELBOURNE Central has been looking a little tired after serving city folk for all these years. But the city landmark for shopping and dining is now undergoing a facelift. Meld reporter Kim Larkin finds out what’s in store.
Overflowing with food courts, restaurants, shops, a gym, a cinema and a train station, you would assume that Melbourne Central already has everything you could possibly need. But prepare to get even more.
Over the past few months, the city’s favourite shopping mall has been undergoing a massive renovation, starting with its new food court – The Dining Hall.
It was a big inconvenience for everyone when the upstairs food court was shut down, but we have been well compensated.
The Dining Hall opened in March this year and included all our favourites from the old food court, and more, making the decision of choosing what to eat even harder.
Mad Mex is one of the new faces at The Dining Hall. Serving up Subway-style Mexican food, the restaurant lets you choose your own burrito/nacho/enchilada fillings and toppings, with, if you feel so inclined, a margarita or beer.
There’s also Cupcake Central, a cupcake bakery full of the cutest tempting baked treats around, and, opening this month, Shnitz, a pan-cooked schnitzel specialty store. Think Lord of the Fries, but instead of getting chips, you get chicken. St Ali’s is also expanding their specialty coffee concept empire with Plantation.
While all these new lunch options are great, the most amazing feature of the Dining Hall is the vast seating space. Couches, benches, tables, even pillows, The Dining Hall has given the second floor a new lease on life.
But Melbourne Central’s renovations haven’t stopped with The Dining Hall. If you have been wandering down Swanston St lately, you might have noticed the construction site on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe.
This new area has been creatively called ‘The Corner’ and, once finished, will include some of the hottest fashion brands in Melbourne.
American brand Glue is already open in Melbourne Central and stocks male and female labels such as Milk&Honey, Adidas and G Star. Located on level two, the price range for Glue’s streetwear varies from $30-$200.
In the coming months, Melbourne’s fashionistas will also be able to shop at Quick Brown Fox, a quirky mix of fashion clothing and accessories, Hype DC, a shoe retailer specialising in limited edition fashion sneakers and stuff from Converse, Nike, Lacoste and Vans, Crumpler, a camera and travel bag store, and Jeanswest, just to name a few.
The long awaited Nike flagship store will also be opening soon at The Corner. Melbourne’s last Nike Flagship closed in 2006, so fans will definitely be looking forward to getting their hands on exclusive Nike products again.
But the cherry-on-top of this shopping cake is the centrepiece of the new Melbourne Central – an architectural design aptly named The Tree.
Architects have been hush-hush about what this will look like, but rumour has it, it will be a tree made of Lego and will mark another entrance into Melbourne Central.
For now, Melbourne Central still looks like a work in progress, but the shopping centre’s management has promised that all renovation works will be finished by the end of the year. Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.