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Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - BY ME­GAN MILLER The Smith NYE 2016 party, $90, the­smith­prahran.com.au

FOR­GET the Jone­ses. It’s all about keeping up with The Smiths in 2017.

Af­ter host­ing one hel­luva New Year’s Eve party, the Prahran pub will shut for ren­o­va­tions, which will double its size by adding an all-weather atrium un­der a Ger­man-de­signed, re­tractable glass roof. Own­ers Scott Borg and Michael Lam­bie plan to de­mol­ish a wall through to the build­ing next door (an old-school cab­i­net­maker, of which the retro fa­cade will be re­tained) to add a court­yard bar with room for 300 and a modern fish and chips shop, Smith and Chips, with its own High St en­trance.

There’ll be a menu makeover, too, with ex­ec­u­tive chef Brad Simp­son ax­ing much of the pub’s Asian skew for a re­turn to its gas­tro-pub and mod-oz roots.

“We’ll keep el­e­ments of the Asian fo­cus – things like the king­fish sashimi are The Smith – but we do want to bring back a more ca­sual ap­proach with steaks, char­cu­terie and ter­rines,” Simp­son says. “We want to be the point of dif­fer­ence and that place that peo­ple are miss­ing.” Borg says the time is right for the venue’s evo­lu­tion, es­pe­cially given the re­cent in­flux of Asian nosh­eries in the area vy­ing for taste­buds.

“We found af­ter we opened five years ago, a lot of other busi­nesses saw the benefit of com­ing into Prahran, and over time, the mar­ket has changed so we want to re­ju­ve­nate and take it up a notch,” Borg says.

“The op­por­tu­nity came up to pur­chase the build­ing next door so we are chang­ing the game. Good luck to them try­ing to keep up with us.”

Simp­son comes on as business part­ner in Smith and Chips, which will serve classic and health­ier fish and chips along­side fresh oysters, soft-shell crab and vi­brant sal­ads, teamed with cock­tails from the new cen­tral bar. Take­away and de­liv­ery will also be avail­able.

The last day of trade will be a New Year’s Eve party with six cour­ses and dessert, DJS and dancing to 3am, with The Smith 2.0 due for com­ple­tion by May un­der ar­chi­tects March Stu­dio (Gazi, Lucy Liu, Jimmy Grants).

RE­TURN TO ITS ROOTS Scott Borg and Brad Simp­son toast the ren­o­va­tion. Be­low, an artist’s im­pres­sion of the new space.

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