Fine-dining restaurant in Collingwood Ides is opening a spin-off bar in March – with dessert to rival the ‘black box’

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Ides chef-owner Peter Gunn has added a casual bar next to his fine-dining restaurant in Collingwood. Inspired by izakayas, pubs and tapas bars, March opened last Friday after four false starts – and it could continue to evolve. But for now, he’s ready to serve wine (including bottles from the Ides winery), feed people, play music, and bring Smith Street a good time.

“I want it brighter and more rowdy and a lot more informal and relaxed than what Ides is,” Gunn said.

The chef has wanted a nearby bar for Ides and other guests since before the pandemic, and had plans drawn up for a 12-seat bar and private dining area out back. But in December 2021, after closures, take-out pivots, a construction ban and the retirement of a key project member, construction work was still not complete, so Gunn changed tack. It is now testing a grungier version with 34 seats.

A large golden door leads to the adjoining restaurant. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui



“It’s kind of a throwback to Ides with pop-ups and events. I thought why not go back to our roots?”

The DNA of Ides is also alive in the level of service, the hard-to-find wines and sakes and, of course, the food.

Everything is designed as a small plate to share.

Peter Gunn's new honey parfait dessert could become a signature to rival his famous MasterChef Black Box dessert.

Peter Gunn’s new honey parfait dessert could become a signature to rival his famous MasterChef Black Box dessert. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui



The salted eye fillet is dressed in kimchi (made according to a recipe by fellow chef Ides) and served on spicy crackers; the premium fried chicken includes a “heavy serving” of Milking Yard Farm’s prized chicken wings; and Gunn’s latest dessert, “Honeycomb,” with a honeycomb parfait filled with beech honeydew and fennel powder, which could become a new signature to rival his black-boxed dessert.

The current finishes and layout are very DIY, with a mustard wall splattered in black paint by Gunn himself and the adjoining wall in Ides featuring a comically sized painted gold door. Minimal concrete-look bars and simple black furniture offset these features.

For now, March will operate as a casual bar, the rest of the changes (including Ides’ first-ever private dining room) will happen when they happen.

Open Friday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to late.

90 Smith Street, Collingwood, 0432 365 869, idesmelbourne.com.au

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