Just days after Broadsheet’s pop-up bar opened on Flinders Lane (where Bar Ampere, EDV and Bar Americano, among other popular CBD drinking holes, will showcase their boozy offerings each evening), the city gets a second temporary venue in the shape of The Richmond Weekender – a food, drink and shopping extravaganza that has commandeered what was previously the GTV 9 studios on Bendigo Street, Richmond.
And a word to the wise here – put that address into Google Maps and you will find yourself somewhere in Prahran – nowhere near the place you are seeking. The Bendigo Street you need is past Fonda Mexican on Swan Street. As the photos show – search for the smoke, it’s a sure sign there is some southern American BBQ action happening.
Taking place every Saturday and Sunday throughout March – before the space is turned into luxury apartments – the project was devised by Right Angle Studio. A celebration of this south-of-the-Yarra suburb, the large food and drink outlet is joined by a host of local artisans showcasing their wares.
In between the Japanese porcelain, handmade ceramics, inventive plant holders and dapper doggy accessories, the food is the main draw here – with Kent and Rob from Cavallero (great coffee, brunch, lunch and apparently – but haven’t tried it- dinner on Smith Street, Collingwood) bringing the Graham Canteen to the queues of hunger punters. They do breakfast sarnies and a few salads, but really it’s all about pulled pork, ribs and skirt beef brisket done outside on the custom-built ‘monster’ BBQ and served up by the 100g.
So you enter the cavernous space – fitted out with large wooden container tables and benches – select what you want from the large blackboards and join the queue. On one side you’ll find food, the other is drinks – coffee served as a granita or via a Chemex 5 Glass filter method from Coffee Supreme – as well as juices, wine and beer.
We didn’t have a problem with having to queue – at least the line of people was shorter than that at the recent Gumbo Kitchen’s Fat Tuesday at Melbourne Cemetery. But the waiting time could probably have been significantly reduced if the staff had (excuse my language) got their arses into gear. They don’t seem to realise that there are millions of people doing the same job in food courts all around the world ten time faster than they were wiling to move. After marveling at just how long it takes to weigh some meat into a plastic container, we wandered with our tray over to one of the tables and tucked into self-assembled pulled Otway pork sourdough rolls ($5.50/100g), barbecue sauce ($2 per pot), coleslaw ($9/large $6/small) and large dill pickle ($2). Tasty, but worth the money considering the queue and the DIY element? Not sure. Maybe they were worrying about running out of food so the slower they went, the more chance to transport the meat from the cooker to the canteen. It was a pretty grey and rainy day when we went, maybe that was why everything felt a little downbeat.
We would have grabbed some ribs too, but there was a wait on them, and queue was beginning to snake back to the door, so we shuffled out of town…. Thus a warning to those of you arriving but have the foresight to read this blog post – send someone in immediately to jump into line. It doesn’t more quickly, so don’t stand back and decide on what you want to order – just do it in line.
On Saturday nights, entertainment comes in the form of Ghita Loebenstien’s Speakeasy Cinema.
The Richmond Weekender
Canteen. Cinema. Market.
Saturdays and Sundays in March 3–31