RACV Club Sommelier Christian Maier reveals what makes the wine lists unique to Sojourn, the Wine Bar and Members’ Dining Room.
Sojourn dining experience
It’s bold, it’s blue and it’s a fabulous venue that gives you a bird’s-eye view of Little Collins St.
Sojourn, a distinctive restaurant, bar and takeaway spot, has been making a statement ever since its two-storey metal structure was installed in New Chancery Lane in late February.
Each week office workers and Club Members visiting City Club watched the building transform from frame stage to fit-out stage, with the grand opening in April.
The building is the brainchild of Curious by Design, a company that specialises in creating innovative city spaces to enhance people’s leisure and dining experiences.
“We love to create strong identities for our clients, identities that become iconic so that a photograph of the space in time will be instantly recognisable,” Curious by Design’s creative director Lucienne Hemingway says.
Last year the RACV participated in a City of Melbourne initiative to extend outdoor dining in the CBD as a way of reviving the hospitality sector and overcoming the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
Championing Victoria’s top winemakers, brewers, distillers, farmers and producers, Sojourn has turned an underutilised area into a new and modern offering in the CBD.
Lucienne says the New Chancery Lane site posed some unique challenges for the Curious by Design team.
“It is a very narrow tall space to inhabit, on a steep incline and in a very grey environment,” she says. “It also had to be done in such a way that people could accept the new utilisation of a space that was previously used as a road.”
The main structure was built in a warehouse in the south east suburbs of Melbourne.
“The logistics of how the structure would be installed onsite dictated the design from scratch. The structure was broken down into a number of movable pieces that were then bolted together onsite,” she says.
The structure is made of steel and aluminum to survive the harsh outdoor elements.
Lucienne says the challenge was to balance the engineering and strength of the structure with many levels of detail to achieve a high level of design and sophistication.
“Layers were added in different forms to create different interior spaces, including the use of softer materials and textures, luxury in elevated and refined furniture, custom-designed lighting, and bold geometric forms,” she says. “Each level has its own personality based on the overall concept, which is consistent with the experience it is intended to provide.”
Lucienne says Melbourne’s love affair with outdoor dining has only just begun.
“Compared to the rest of the world we are even a little bit behind,” she says. “We hope to see a shift in treating exterior spaces as proper environments to design, beyond the hired marquee.”
All Club Members receive a discount on food and beverages at Sojourn, including 10% off when they pay by cash or card, or 15% off when they charge direct to your Club account.
As part of its initiative to revive the CBD, the City of Melbourne has installed new planter boxes, speed bumps and safety barriers near the Club. As a consequence of these changes, and the construction of Sojourn, Club Member access (entry and exit) to the car park is now via Bourke Street only. The Little Collins Street entrance to the car park is closed.
Book for Sojourn restaurant here.
For an overview of Club improvements, visit the City Club Improvements Page.