Andrew McConnell's Cutler & Co is getting its first facelift since it opened its doors in eight years ago. The chef announced that Cutler & Co will be temporarily closing its doors from Saturday February 19 so it can be transformed by architect Iva Foschia from IF Architecture.
"I'm pretty happy to still be here; still receiving enthusiastic diners," McConnell said in a statement. "But just because people enjoy it, doesn't mean that I can rest on my laurels. I have been looking at this space for eight years, and I can see new potential for it, but it is very much an evolution rather than a revolution."
Cutler & Co opened in February 2009 and marked the beginning of McConnell's gradual takeover of Gertrude Street, where he now has Marion, Ricky and Pinky, and Builders Arms Hotel, as well as butcher shop Meatsmith nearby on Smith Street. The restaurant is housed in a former metal works factory and the original fitout was done by interior designer Pascale Gomes McNabb, who also worked with McConnell on Cumulus Inc and the now closed Mrs Jones and Diningroom 211.
Foschia, who is director at IF Architecture, came to McConnell's attention when she submitted a pitch for the interior design of Meatsmith, who McConnell owns with butcher Troy Wheeler. Foschia didn't get the gig, but did end up working on Gertrude Street wine bar Marion. The new design of Cutler & Co 2.0 will complement neighbouring Marion, which shares a wine cellar with the restaurant.
If you're wondering what to expect in the newly refurbished space when Cutler reopens in March, here's the down-low: the existing Pilbara marble bar will remain the focus of the restaurant and will be good enough to be a stand alone area for a quick drink or a seafood platter. The restaurant will also be divided into three dining areas, a bar in the front for drinking and dining, a mid-section that will wrap around a Chef's table if you're after dinner with a view, and a luxe rear dining room for those who prefer a more intimate setting. Heading the kitchen will be Chris Watson, who is currently manning the fort at St Kilda's Luxembourg.