of Merit

Richmond VIC

Feast of Merit is an initiative by the YGAP charity foundation – a restaurant and bar offering local, ethical and sustainable food and drinks in a space that reflects the communal nature of the project.

The design aims to convert an inefficient and spatially disjointed former café into a corner home for the charity’s new enterprise. Exposed walls, floors and ceilings enhance the warmth of the space and bi fold windows and low bench seating along Swan Street engage with passing pedestrians. The existing kitchen was extending and refurbished, and an open servery section allows patrons to connect with the culinary team.

A new bar lines the west wall and faces the space. Reclaimed whitewashed timber sits atop a tiled bar, which cuts into recycled shutter screens which are used to separate seating sections throughout the restaurant. Recycled timber benches complement the exposed brick walls and steel framed doorways, and recycled and locally sourced furniture pieces and light fittings add a hint of colour and tactility. Hanging planters and green installations mix with reclaimed copper pipe shelving to add a layer of industrial warmth.

Street artist Dan Wenn was commissioned to capture the essence of the Feast of Merit ideal and to also articulate the corner interface of the building. This addition of colour and movement not only attracts patrons to the restaurant, but reflects the eclectic feel of the surrounding area of Richmond. Ewert Leaf supported this charitable venture by donating its time pro bono.

Project Timeline


Town Planning
Architectural Services
Interior Design



Gold Winner of 2014 Melbourne Design Awards – Interior Design

Finalist of 2015 Good Design Awards – Architecture

Shortlisted in 2015 Australian Interior Design Awards – Hospitality Design

Area and Staff

Venue Size M²


No. Staff


Seating Breakdown

Indoor Seats: 60
Outdoor Seats: 15

Construction Cost