A New Undertaking

The Undertaker:

329 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC
(03) 9818 3944 or www.theundertaker.com.au

After a healthy lifespan of three years — making Undertaker about the ripe old age of a half-century in hospitality years — Olivia Frawley and family decided to bury the old design and layout, and resurrect the venue with a touch of Melbourne laneways juxtaposed with elegant dining above. Frawley et al recognised the need for a casual everyday bar where locals could relax for a drink and switched the layout to send the bar below and move dining upstairs.

Getting things moving, the family commissioned the services of Joost and designer Anna Roberts to help with the design. The ground level casual ‘high-end’ bar and bistro, Undertaker Social, is fitted out with hanging basket lights — crafted by Joost from rusted metal baskets found in the basement of an old hotel and used to deliver beers in the ’50s. Joost filled them with vintage globes in the trash-and- treasure mode and hung them throughout to set the tone of the room filled with aged tables, leather booth seating and Thonet café chairs, combined with Tolix metal stools. A Hawthorn Depot tram roll hangs in the entrance and main room, featuring all the familiar Melbourne sites. Upstairs, the Undertaker Dining Room attempts an older antiquated feel to match the heritage of the existing building façade built in 1903. The room was lightened with a clay pot colour, highlighting both the American Oak wall feature and Calcutta marble in the bar. A turn-of-the-century chandelier from the south of France and crystal storm shades from India hang along the bar. When the rain eases and Melbourne fines up, the summer months will see guests take to the balcony for a private dining experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *