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The refurbishment of a cellar bar in an authentic Italian family restaurant pays homage to traditional heritage and modern dining. By Stephanie Madison.

Originally opening in 2006, Cecconi’s Flinders Lane Restaurant and Cellar Bar – the second of its kind following the 1996 establishment of Cecconi’s, Crown Casino – is the most recent offering from Melbourne’s Bortolotto family, the culinary aficionados and restaurateurs behind a succession of prominent venues launched since the 1960s.

Re-opening in January, the new Cellar Bar offers a casual bar experience and adheres to a project brief specifying the refurbishment had to be “timeless, European, stylish, sharp”.


Mollard Interiors director Scotty Mollard says the goal was to create a “contemporary yet authentic Italian space”.

“We decided to keep the colour palette restricted to black, white and copper yet incorporated varying textures and tones to create contrast,” Mollard says.


“We wanted the space to feel familiar, warm and contemporary while reinforcing that Cecconi’s is a long-standing family-run business.

“The white-wash timber tables with copper edging made by Don, Maria’s husband, combined with the black bentwood chairs, low black dome pendant lights and copper wall lights create an inviting space.”


A wall of family photos and produce displayed in black steel carriageways above the bar and open kitchen provide a further reminder of the restaurant’s Italian heritage.

The backs of chairs in the formal dining space were reupholstered to create cohesion between the restaurant and bar while the extensive use of patented brass and a laminated Italian images on the private dining room’s glass wall provided key elements.


Director Maria Bortolotto says design collaboration was vital.

“…The idea of collaborating with Mollard Interiors seemed the best way to retain all we really valued and at the same time, set out a very precise expression of how we wanted it to be,” Bortolotto says.

“Our interiors have always been of their time and context and here we are on the edge of a new beginning. A new definition.”

Cecconi’s Flinders Lane Restaurant & Cellar Bar

Mollard Interiors

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