An old retail space and storage rooms at St Kilda’s Prince Hotel have been reimagined as Little Prince Wine, a contemporary wine store and small bar that makes a charming extension to the hotel’s offering.
A retail space inside a bar or cafe is often a lesson in awkward trade-offs, but not at Little Prince Wine. Here, underneath the Prince Hotel in St Kilda, a counter selling cheese, cold cuts, wine and dry goods sits comfortably within an intimate bar, the two functions of the venue complementing each other and making the overall space richer. Standout features include zinc countertops, an eye-catching counter fridge and illuminated metal shelving, but it’s a striking green-tiled back wall that delineates the retail from the rest of the venue and draws in takeaway customers. Still, this relatively small venue encourages exploration of its line of drink fridges and timber wine shelves, and a cellar tucked down a second staircase. “Very often you compromise putting retail in a restaurant space,” said one juror. “But for these elements to work together and make each other richer, I think is pretty extraordinary.”