Underground Themed Dinners Are Coming to a Fitzroy Warehouse When Lockdown is Over

This is the tale of three Melbourne hospitality legends, who came together to put on some underground themed pop-up dinner parties in the heart of Fitzroy.

We love to see it.

@undergrounddining via Instagram

About a week ago, I came across this Instagram page called @undergounddining with an invitation as its only post. It was captioned:

Roll down the windows on your panel van, jump on your bike or kick it on public transport to dinner at ours.
Saturday 28 August

Included for $99.95 per person:
Cocktail on arrival
Five course feed

Naturally, it piqued my interest.

One of my favourite things about living in Melbourne, is incredible events like these pop up everywhere, all the time, but you’ve either got to be well-connected or lucky, to stumble across them.

I wanted to know more, so I sent a message to the Instagram page. Here’s what I now know:

Aaron Mckenzie, Roger Fowler and Jasmin Lefers have been friends for a long time and bring different skill sets to the table.

Roger is a hospitality veteran in Melbourne, with 40 years experience, a very successful career as a chef and running some of Melbourne’s best front of house. He brings experience, an eye for details and creative concepts.

Jas has a lengthy history steeped in catering and event management including but not limited to weddings, festivals, and private events. She is often seen in the kitchen and just as often, directing the traffic. She is passionate about food and bringing to life unique ideas that combine multiple fields of creativity for unique experiences.

Aaron has been self-employed over the past two decades, undertaking projects that sit in the realms of interior design, creation of sets for film and television, event styling, bespoke personalised interior artworks, applied fresco techniques, tiles, murals, plywood, hospitality products and much more. Safe to say, he’s the visuals guy.

Together, they’ve decided to turn their retro warehouse space in the back street of Fitzroy, into some fun dinners once or twice a month, in the hopes of stimulating our collectively numb lockdown brains and bringing some Melbourne hospo grit back to the underground Fitzroy scene.

Not only do they have a passion for hospo, but they’re also keen to focus on supporting the music industry, artists and poets, which is reflected through their upcoming themed dinners.

The dinners will be 50pax seated and 80pax for stand up shows, which will, of course, all be barcoded with COVID and social distancing regulations in place. Nothing will stop these legends from putting on a good retro party to get us all dancing again.

Some of the upcoming dinners are:

Retro ’70s & ’80s Dinner 

“A play on all of the wonderfully bad looking  but tasty food of the era with Prawn Cocktails, Pina Coladas and Devils on Horseback as a few examples with music, table settings, beverages and visuals from the era”

Rude Food

“There was actually a restaurant in Commercial road Prahran in the early ’90s, that was based on all dishes looking like our rude bits, was packed for a year then died. With sex, sexual preferences, porn, Tinder sites etc booming, we thought this could be fun but to round it off with a chat from a Sexpert on the night around education in that space. (Omg the ideas for food we have will be awesome and open eyes big time) hoping to have a range of sex toys available for purchase, of course.”


A classic setting with small tables around stage, low lighting, spotlight on stage we have a range of awesome singers, drinks and snack food at the tables and probably a smoke machine to keep it real.

Eastern Block

“A play on foods from that part of the world. Phil, from Borsch Vodka and Tears, will curate with Roger, who has a background in fermented foods. Obviously, there’ll be some vodka and music thrown in too.”

Singles and Friends

“The singles circuit is huge, so the plan is to create a series of entree courses with 15-minute gaps so you can move onto the next person you’d like to chat with. Basically speed dating, with food. Bit of work to do on this one with ages, sexual preferences, social distancing but no doubt will be a sell-out for all.”

Greece & Co

“Ella Mitas is known for her sell-out events over Melbourne and will be doing what she does best: simplistic but crazy good food from Greece and neighbours, probably a bouzouki and some Ouzo about.”

Country & Western 

“You don’t see much of this downtown Fitzroy but plenty of talent out there so some hay bales, beer, BBQ and a hell of a lot of yee haarin!”

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