Melbourne’s not short of beautiful cocktail bars and restaurants, but Dion Hall raises the bar with Her, a mid-century-inspired bar and eatery that oozes golden charm.
The designer was tapped by the HQ Group to design the drinking spot inside the revamped Pacific House in the city’s downtown business district, now known as Her. The heritage-listed former cigar factory dates from 1903 and houses four individual venues celebrating food, drink, art and music, dubbed Her Bar, Thai restaurant BKK, the Music Room and Her Rooftop.
Hall drew on the ambience and vibe of French boulevard bistros to inspire Her Bar’s glowing interiors – winning a commendation from the Eat Drink Design Awards for his ambient interiors. Honey-coloured wooden wall panels are dotted with artworks by local creatives and glowing orb lights that cast a golden glow across the space. Meanwhile, buttery leather couches, banquettes, terrazzo floor tiles, marble table tops, and brass elements heighten the golden vibes.
Artist Eleanor Louise Butt created a custom 10-metre-long artwork behind the zinc-topped bar – nodding to the graffiti on the surrounding laneways.
Up a level is the Music Room – a bespoke sound space inspired by Japanese listening bars. Hall has wrapped the entire soundproof area in rich American walnut, including its floors, walls, ceiling, bar, and DJ booth. The space is engineered to perfection by Mickey Levis, who developed its sound system and acoustic resolution, while L’Observatoire International developed its sophisticated lighting design. Plush velvety seating and hard-to-find vinyl complete the offering.
And not to be outdone, Music Room scooped the ‘Best Bar’ design award for 2022.