Gurner signs prominent chef to Collingwood

E.S Smith will rise nine storeys behind a heritage facade.

Gurner Group has signed Indian chef Jessi Singh to the ground floor of Collingwood’s E.S Smith apartment complex, due for completion this month.

The Robert Burns Hotel was rebranded Hotel Collingwood in 2021.

The cook, behind Daughter in Law, which now operates in Adelaide, Byron Bay and Melbourne and Don’t Tell Aunty, in Sydney, has signed up for two spaces – 106 and 267 square metres – for an initial 10 years.

A “Michelin-chef style fine dining venue” is planned for one space.

The other will make way for a “laid back pub” with curry fare.

Both will open mid-year.

E.S Smith neighbours the former Robert Burns Hotel which Julien Moussi’s Only Hospitality Group acquired two years ago rebranding it Hotel Collingwood after a renovation.

Another eatery for Collingwood

Indian born Melbourne based Singh also holds St Kilda’s Horn Please and Babu Ju in his stable.

His E.S Smith commitment comes eight months since Luke Skidmore, behind Tipo 00, Osteria Ilaria, Grana and Figlia  bought 48 Oxford Street, Collingwood, for a restaurant.

Stonebridge’s Max Warren, Dylan Kilner and Shaun Luo were the agents (story continues below).

The Indian eateries are scheduled to open mid-year.

George Calombaris with Young’s Wine Rooms’ James Klapanis are shortly to open a Greek eatery, Orlo, next to that.

Old world retail

Behind a century old red brick row of shops at 368-374 Smith Street, E.S Smith, with 63 apartments over nine levels, 655 square metre commercial and co-work space and 360 sqm of retail, is due for completion this month.

“E.S Smith has been inspired by old-world speak-easies and private clubs and our vision from the outset was to anchor the heritage retained façade with an incredible hospitality operator to bring the public realm to life,” Gurner Group chief executive officer, Tim Gurner, said.

“The addition of Jesse Singh’s culinary destinations underscores our commitment to securing only the best minds in hospitality to curate vibrant and diverse experiences that enhance the lifestyle offerings within our developments,” he added.

“Jesse Singh and his team are top of their game – their venues showcase exceptional culinary concepts, in-keeping with the high calibre of eateries in Collingwood,” according to the developer. “E.S Smith is grounded in heritage and history and set to be an iconic address, Jessi Singh’s blend of heritage and modern flare complement our vision perfectly and add another exceptional two dining experiences to Collingwood, which already boasts some of Melbourne’s best restaurants”.

Following the deal with Mr Singh, just one retail space is left, at the neighbouring Atelier building. One apartment is also unsold – a three bedroom asking $3.15 million.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of