Melbourne’s vibrant epicentre, Chapel Street Precinct, is a culmination of rich cultures and experiences dating back decades. There is an intrinsic, underlying, but palpable heartbeat that exists in Chapel Street Precinct. It is like nowhere else in this city, a true melting pot. A colourful community that is its heartbeat.

What has always made Chapel so special and unique is its businesses.

So, we brought them together into a melting pot of memories for ‘The Soul of Chapel’. Watch the campaigns trailer below for a sneak peak of the captivating vignettes to come.

These are their stories — stories captured to present these businesses and people as bloody heroes – custodians that make our culture what it is. A collective that makes Chapel Street Precinct the most interesting corner of Melbourne. We want to show how we view them and in doing so remind the rest of the world that we’re still here. We’re still alive, pivoting and kicking.

And we are back stronger than before, united.

This is The Soul of Chapel. 

A new ‘Soul of Chapel’ film, profiling an institution of Chapel, will be released every two days until mid-April across the much loved Chapel Street Precinct digital platforms. Stay tuned!

CHAPELLI’S, (est. 1979)

571 Chapel St, South Yarra
There’s no place like home. Except perhaps your favourite age-old Chapel Street institution, Chapelli’s. The same one that welcomes you with open arms and piping hot macaroni at 2 am when you’re all macarena-ed out. You can take it from us, Chapelli’s has vowed never to close again. An institution on not only Chapel Street, but the entire Melbourne restaurant scene. Thank you for being the best fully licensed 24-hour joint on Chaps. 

Chapel Tattoo, (est. 1994)

155 Chapel St, Windsor
Chapel Tattoo was stamped onto the bod of Chapel Street more than two decades ago, and we’ve had no regrets yet. Just like the art it creates, Chapel Tattoo is a beloved permanent fixture in our precinct. No amount of virus can wipe this ink away.

Chapel Street Pawnbrokers, (est. 1973)

378 Chapel St, South Yarra
One man’s beloved bike is another’s street stallion. Just ask the brothers at The Chapel Street Pawnbrokers, Victoria’s oldest family run pawnshop. They’re all about giving new life to beloved old bits. And the three generations of pawnbrokers have continued to breathe life into Chapel Street Precinct for the last 48 years!

Tusk Cafe Bar, (est. 2000)

133 Chapel St, Windsor
Times may change, but your favourite local hasn’t. And that’s the beauty of Tusk Cafe Bar – it’ll always be pouring, flipping and serving the goods you love. Tusk is like nowhere else – it’s a community within a community, a hub within a hub. Is there a more iconic spot on Chaps when the sun is out to sit outside on the corner and watch the world go by?

Union Heights, (est. 2015)

136 Chapel St, Windsor
Here’s a taste of the kind of urban culture entrenched in Melbourne’s Chapel Street — a little place called Union Heights. When asked about Windsor, owner Frank said, “It has this duality of existence.” He continued, “For me it is more than just a retail store. It is a cultural meeting place for people that are into the hip hop scene.”

Cato Fruit & Vegetables, (est. 2008)

10-12 Cato St, Prahran
Chapel Street has long been considered a big pocket of fresh produce in Melbourne – Cato Fruit & Vegetables has jam-packed shelves of the good stuff, ripe for the picking. Cato is charming and has an unrivalled character, just being in there for 30 mins and seeing the people who come in to shop, you realise that even in an area as big as Chapel Street Precinct, Cato has a distinctly local feel. They wholesale to a lot of local businesses, which makes them even more entrenched in the community, and adds a sense of support to other local businesses.

OneSixOne, (est. 1999)

161 High St, Prahran
OneSixOne was started by Andy and Hank. People know OneSixOne from all over the world – it’s that iconic. People like Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue, celebrity chefs, tennis players and all sorts have been there. They’ve managed to stay true to themselves and relevant across decades, by doing what they think is right, and putting a huge emphasis on the right music, and the right staff. Generations of families go there. Some of OneSixOne’s first customers’ children now come. People who frequented the club in their late-teens, still visit in their 40’s – it’s an iconic location where many people have made some of their best memories.

Brother Wolf, (est. 2015)

110 Greville St, Prahran
Brother Wolf is a Prahran institution – it’s fun, welcoming and everyone loves their job. The vibe is a reflection of the greater area, the same one that Paddy says he gets from his favourite coffee shop, and bars. Owner Paddy’s visa was about to expire when he literally bumped into a guy on Greville Street, and they got chatting. He had just bought the shopfront opposite to where Brother Wolf now sits, and Paddy told him he would be keen to manage it but would need a sponsor. A deal was struck and the rest is history. Sadly, he passed away, but Paddy often thinks it was ‘an angel sent’ to set him on this path.

Red Drum Music Studios, (est. 2010)

114 Chatham St, Prahran
Red Drum Music Studios has been marching to the beat of its own drum since it first opened its doors in Prahran 11 years ago. Started by wife and husband, Sarah and Darren, they just love the community around them. They says it’s cross-generational and eclectic, and despite ongoing change, that always remains.

Red Square Shoe Repair, (est. 2003)

325 Chapel St, Prahran
Red Square Shoe Repair and Efim who owns and runs the shop is a nostalgic and romantic reference to a different era – hands on craft and problem solving are at the core of what he does. He has been there for 17 years. It’s beautiful that in a world of cutting edge technology and quick fixes, that there is still room for this considered approach and personalised service. With changing time, he says “you can’t just quit.”

Pets Wonderland, (est. 1972)

184 Chapel St, Prahran
Today’s Pets Wonderland was 49 years in the making and is home to (some of) Chapel Street’s wild animals. It was passed down from mother Diana to daughter Mikaela in 2004, who has continued to preserve the shop’s spirit. People enter Pet’s Wonderland to find some small solace amidst a stressful day. ‘It’s always been a place for people to come and decompress’, said Mikaela, ‘particularly during the lockdowns.’

Sam & Ko, (est. 1993)

465 Chapel St, South Yarra
In the words of Sam himself – why be treated like a customer when you could be treated like a King or Queen? Sam started Sam & Ko and has been in the same zone for 28 years. The business is Sam. It is his personality and relationship with customers that makes Sam & Ko what it is.

SOME OF CHAPEL’S BEST LONG-STANDING INSTITUTIONS

Caffe e Cucina

Est. 1988.

Shag Windsor

Est. 1996.

Chasers Nightclub

Est. 1978.

Greville-Records Christmas Shopping

Greville Records

Est. 1978. One of Melbourne's oldest record stores.

The Union Hotel

Est. 1856.

Chapel Street Bazaar

Est. 1985. Melbourne's oldest second hand/antique store.

Rosenberg Shoes

Est. 1903. A fourth generation shop.

Revolver Upstairs

Est. 1997. One of Australia's most famous Nightclubs.

Prahran Market

Est. 1864. Melbourne’s oldest market.

THE LATEST

Top Bars in Chapel Street Precinct

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We’ve got the lowdown on the some of the best bars to check out, and we would know because we #getonthebeers. Here’s some of our favourite bars in Chapel Street Precinct.

Explore New Businesses in Chapel Street Precinct

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Check out who's joined the vibrant corridor that is Chapel Street Precinct. We got some new friends in town last year and we're giving them an extra big shout out for bravely swinging their doors open during what was an incredibly tumultuous time.

Two Words. Support Local

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Right now, it’s black and white. Please support your local faves or they may not be around for much longer. We know this time is strained for almost everyone, so when it comes to buying food, clothes or any shopping you need doing, just think TWO WORDS. SUPPORT LOCAL. With your support, they’ll get through this. It's now or never.

Explore Greville Street

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This petite Prahran street leads you gently from the hustle of Chapel Street, into a warm village of boutique makers, retailers & artists. Not a single soul has ventured to Greville Street without vowing to return again. And again. And again.

Street Art Murals in Chapel Street Precinct

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Dan Andrews says we can leave the house! (Woohoo!) So, why not check out some of the best street art south of the river while you're at it.

Get Your Chapel Caffeine Fix

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Before this article had even started we could feel the Melburnian eyes of judgment piercing through their screens. Coffee is quite possibly THE most important part of our lives. Get your Chapel Street Precinct caffeine relief!

Get Off The Couch. Leave Lockdown Behind

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While our newfound freedom is oh-so-sweet, it feels like mere months ago that we were hanging out for the day when we could look back and laugh about the perils of lockdown. This is that day. Get an eyeful of some long-gone and relatable iso moments below.

Prahran Square

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Prahran Square is the City of Stonnington's transformation of the old Cato Street car park in Prahran into a 10,000 square metre urban parkland above a 500 bay underground car park. Click image to see what's happening in The Square.