Not a bad way to celebrate your 20th birthday, this. After two decades as one of Melbourne’s top venues, Bluetrain bar and restaurant has reopened its doors in the Southgate Complex to reveal a lively new design by Studio Equator (last seen producing this Pipe Mania-inspired eatery), as well as a new menu from incoming resident chef Jay Sinclair.
Whether the neon mantra “creativity takes courage, courage is creativity” is motivational inspiration for the clientèle, a brand message or a piece of self-congratulation on the part of Studio Equator isn’t clear, but either way it’s not wrong. The revamped branding now features asymmetric quadrilaterals and triangles, which pop up as motifs throughout the venue. Comprised of themed areas, the open plan space is all sorts of jazzy – a favourite style of music here too – with bespoke floor tiling and a smooth, characterful mono mural on the stairs. Industrial touches include the corrugated metal panelling and Meccano light fittings overhead in the sports bar, which represent the Melbourne Metro transport system in 3D.