Sojourn dining experience

Sojourn, an inviting place for get-togethers in New Chancery Lane, is set to become an iconic building in Melbourne’s CBD.

It’s bold, it’s blue and it’s a fabulous venue that’s coming to you in April. 

Sojourn, a distinct 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 have watched the building transform from frame stage to fit-out stage, with the grand opening scheduled for mid-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. 

Artist’s impressions of RACV Club’s new outdoor dining experience, Sojourn.
Artist’s impressions of RACV Club’s new outdoor dining experience, Sojourn.


Artist’s impressions of RACV Club’s new outdoor dining experience, Sojourn.

Championing Victoria’s top winemakers, brewers, distillers, farmers and producers, Sojourn will turn 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 has to be done in such a way that people can accept the new utilisation of a space that was previously used as a road.” 

The main structure was constructed in a huge warehouse at TGC Building, in the south eastern 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. 

She says the challenge is to balance the engineering and strength of the structure with many levels of detail to achieve a high level of design and sophistication.  

“Layers are 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 will have its own personality based on the overall concept, which will be 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.”  

Club Members can get the latest updates on Sojourn and find out when bookings open via Facebook and Instagram. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com.au/RACVClub and follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/racvclub.  

All Club Members will receive a discount on food and beverages at Sojourn, including 10% off when you pay by cash or card, or 15% off when you 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. 

For an overview of Club improvements, visit the City Club Improvements Page

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