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Businesses in Southbank

05 Jun 2018

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A true local favourite

Since opening nearly six years ago, Downstairs Bistro & Lounge has turned an otherwise inactive section of Sturt St into a thriving and much-loved neighbourhood destination for locals & theatregoers alike.

Renowned for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, delicious food and quality service, Downstairs may be tucked away at the south end of Sturt St but once discovered there is only going back!

From casual breakfasts to relaxed lunches and divine dinners to special functions, the expansive dining and lounge space complete with a fireplace is fit for any event.

Having resided above the restaurant in Southside Tower for 17 years now, owner Andrew Schepisi said prior to establishing the business he had felt that Southbank had really lacked a place for locals.

“As a resident, I’d previously either have to go into Southbank and then you’d be paying top dollar on the river or we’d then have to drive our family to South Melbourne , then we couldn’t get a park so you’d end up in Albert Park or St Kilda,” he said.

“We originally had a dream of making it somewhere that you’d be proud to go as a local so we’re proud of the business that we’ve created from scratch.”

“We’ve had a lot of comments from people saying that we’ve added a huge amount of warmth to the place because it can feel warm and cosy even if no one is here. It’s got a great vibe about it.”

There’s no questioning the warmth one feels upon entering the restaurant, both from the ambient décor and the friendly service. It goes without saying that it has built its reputation on making its patrons feel at home.

With a menu featuring a quality array of classic meals, as well as seasonal culinary specials, the restaurant caters to all taste buds and offers a range of beverages including great coffee and an extensive wine and cocktail list.

The restaurant has also clearly demonstrated that it is proud to be apart of the local community. Whether it be hosting functions for the neighbouring secondary school and businesses or offering pre-theatre dinner specials in partnership with Melbourne Theatre Company, Downstairs Bistro & Lounge is as local as it gets in Southbank.

However, as Andrew duly noted: “You’re only as good as the team you’ve got and it’s our staff , including Miles Cole our restaurant manager who give people a reason for coming back. The crew we’ve got on board now is overall the best but also the most suitable because they understand what our customers need & expect.”

“Our head chef, Tom Woodhouse wants to see Downstairs go from strength to strength and he’s worked for Bear Brass so he knows the local area in terms of what works and what doesn’t. He’s given a lot of freedom of expression with the menu.”

Its delicious menu clearly strikes a chord with its regulars. Each night of the week features different meal and beverage specials, while patrons can end the week with live music every Friday. Don’t forget happy hour from 4pm to 7pm!

Its large and relaxed lounge and restaurant spaces can be booked for a range of private functions, while it also offers a delicious catering menu.

To view the menu or book your next meal or event at Downstairs Bistro & Lounge visit downstairs.net.au. Locals wishing to order home delivery or pick up online can find the restaurant on Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Foodora, Hey You and MenuLog.

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