When Camillo Ippoliti and Phillip Schemnitz donned their crampons and started wielding their axes at the Magic Mountain Saloon, they wasted no time in transforming the place into a clean slate – the remnants of a fake Irish pub and a Mexican restaurant that had previously occupied the Melbourne premises were ripped out and consigned to the skip, as was everything else that wasn’t structurally important. As owner and architect respectively, the pair have already worked together on a number of successful venues in the city, and their regular collaborators Karen Batson (chef) and music man Phil Ransom are both back on board for this adventure.
The ground floor of this Little Collins Street bar was refitted with the blackened steel, stone and timber of a Melbourne warehouse. The place really comes into its own when you scale the Magic Mountain’s stairs and enter the 1940s loft-style extension. Up here is where the DJs play and the patrons can enjoy the best views of the city’s laneways and skyline (and historical neighbour The Melbourne Club) from the balconies, as well as one of the two cracking murals by fashion and art designer Misha Hollenbach.