Part retail store, part design showcase, Victor Churchill’s Melbourne outpost offers a fresh take on the classic butcher shop, complete with a charcuterie counter, cocktails and caviar.
Australia’s oldest continuously run butchery. Marrying artisinal products with world-class design, Victor Churchill’s flagship Melbourne store offers a retail experience like no other. Opened in November, the Armadale outpost expands the footprint of the original business, located in Sydney’s Woollahra (a store described by the late American chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain as “the most beautiful butcher in the world”). Founded by the Churchill family in 1876, the Sydney store has been operated by Anthony Puharich and his father, Victor, a fourth-generation butcher, since 2009.
The family also runs the wholesale business Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, which sells to many of Melbourne’s best restaurants, including Attica, Flower Drum and Florentino. Their suppliers include the Wagyu producer Cobungra, set in the foothills of Mount Hotham, and Gippsland’s O’Connor Beef, famed for its grass-fed Angus beef.
With each of his Victor Churchill stores, Puharich has set out to defy our expectations of what a butcher shop looks like. First of all, you won’t find a traditional counter separating the customer from the butcher, with Puharich deliberately eliminating the physical barrier from his store designs. “We did it first in Sydney and it’s become a huge part of what we’re about,” he says. “We want our customers to feel comfortable and important. Above all, we want the experience of shopping at Victor Churchill to be personal, intimate.”
But the real game changer is the horseshoe-shaped bar tucked at the back of the Armadale store, which offers Champagne, cocktails and wine, plus lunch and afternoon menus (with a dinner service to come in 2022). Naturally, premium steaks take centre stage, but there’s plenty for seafood lovers, too, including fresh lobster, oysters, caviar and even a modern take on the classic prawn cocktail.
Victor Churchill, 953 High Street, Armadale; (03) 9978 1968; victorchurchill.com.au