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Melbourne has a new entertainment and dining precinct

Rebecca Russo

For some reason, SoHo-style abbreviations for areas never really caught on in Melbourne. Trust us, we tried. But we’re living in a city that’s made for this type of abbreviation. Case in point: Ella. Ella is where Elizabeth Street meets La Trobe Street, and it’s now the name of a new entertainment and dining precinct right next to Melbourne Central.

Launched in late May, Ella takes inspiration from the offerings you usually find in some of Asia’s train stations. It spans about 2,500 square metres, with its biggest drawcard being the new food offerings.

There’s Colour Bowls, an offshoot of South Yarra’s popular restaurant Atlas; the Pad, a new concept from Collingwood Thai restaurant Son in Law; a new outpost for Dainty Sichuan as well as deep-fried Korean chicken from Sam Sam. We’ll also see the return of two former residents of the Melbourne Central thoroughfare, Chilli Everest and Ajisen Ramen.

The Pad at Ella Melbourne
The Pad at Ella Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied

But it’s not all about the food. Ella will also host regular live music gigs, have a regularly changing graffiti mural and be home to the second outpost for hospo co-working space Worksmith. Worksmith founders Michael Bascetta and Roscoe Power were actually the tenant curators of Ella.

More tenants will open in the next couple of months, too, including retail stores, booze shop Blackhearts and Sparrows, and Byrdi, a new bar from bartender Luke Whearty, known for opening award-winning Singapore bar Operation Dagger.

Ella is now open at the corridor between Melbourne Central and the Melbourne Central Tower. 

Melbourne's 1920-era Capitol Theatre has reopened.

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