A NEW speakeasy-style bar will take Bendigo residents back in time, while remaining firmly in the present.
Soon-to-open Ms Batterhams reimagines the basement of an old school hall.
It was a kindergarten back in the day, where the mother of owners Rhianwen Seiter and Ellis Nuttall attended.
The bar's name is in honour of their mum, a nod to her kindergarten teacher, one Ms Batterham.
Ms Seiter described the bar as "a new girl with a past". After buying the building in 2014, she walked right into the space and thought, "This is the perfect place for a speakeasy lounge bar".
She and Mr Nuttall have spent six months restoring the basement, after an extensive planning process to work with the heritage overlay.
The space has a deep palette of matte black, with green, gold and bronze.
"You're coming into a space which is warm and inviting, yet kind of funky and new," Ms Seiter said.
"You can tell that it has a history, that the building has a history, but it's got a modern touch on it."
Ms Seiter said she imagined the bar as a place where people could come to relax and chat alongside their food.
They've developed bespoke cocktails, while Mr Nutall has used a background in wine to curate a wine list from scratch.
The food will be southern European, designed for sharing with friends.
Ms Seiter said it would fill a gap in Bendigo's nightlife for people wanting luxury and sophistication.
"Our target market is people looking for a place where they can get a really beautiful meal, and also have a lovely drinking space," she said.
Ms Batterhams will open from February 20, Thursday-Sunday, 10 MacKenzie Street, 11.30am-late.
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