2024 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival set to honour Dan Murphy’s founder

The 2024 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival will honour Dan Murphy’s founder Daniel Francis Murphy with a pop-up dining experience.

The announcement:

He was the Australian wine merchant that became a household name. And now Daniel Francis Murphy, founder of Australia’s leading liquor retailer, Dan Murphy’s, will be honoured in a special pop-up celebration of fine food and wine in Federation Square for this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF).

It’s a little known fact that in the late 1960s, Daniel Francis Murphy launched a restaurant called The Epicurean at the same location as his first wine store in the Prahran Arcade. Dan’s Diner is a playful nod to its founder’s history and Victoria’s vibrant culinary scene.

Dan Murphy’s head of brand and experience Maija Bell said Dan’s Diner aligns with Dan Murphy’s commitment to providing memorable drinking experiences, through a blend of nostalgia and contemporary dining.

“As a longstanding partner of MFWF, we’re excited to elevate our involvement as a major sponsor for the very first time – and to bring festival-goers a totally unique Dan Murphy’s experience, showcasing Victoria’s finest wine, beer and spirits alongside gourmet delights from some of Victoria’s best chefs,” she said.

Dan’s Diner is a full-service restaurant and bar, with a diverse menu curated by chefs named Dan for 10 days over the MFWF. An American-style retro diner, the activation has taken 10 days to construct and will have the capacity to seat 90 guests. It is also the largest bespoke activation to run at Federation Square to date.

Bell said Dan’s Diner offered a unique opportunity to show inner city, premium wine drinkers a side of the Dan Murphy’s history they may not be aware of, and in doing so reinforce its position as an authority in food and drinks culture.

“Opposite one of the busiest suburban railway stations in the southern hemisphere, this part of Melbourne’s CBD can see over 100,000 commuters a day, and we know Dan Murphy’s is the go-to for unbeatable range and value when buying drinks, so putting this spin on the Dan’s story is something we’re incredibly excited to see visitors and customers (both old and new) engage with.

“Dan’s Diner is not just a restaurant and bar; it’s an immersive experience that promises flavour, fun, and a touch of retro charm. As we step into Dan’s Diner, we step back in time to the 1950s. With a modern flair, each dish tells a story, and every sip is a nod to the heritage that has shaped Dan Murphy’s.

“We have chosen Victorian chefs Dan Hunter (Brae), Daniel Puskas (Sixpenny) and Daniel Wilson (Yakimono), who, beyond their culinary prowess and shared moniker, promise to bring an element of fun to Dan’s Diner,” Bell added.

“Rounding out the list of Dans, we have Dan Docherty from Commis who has played a pivotal role in curating the cocktail list for Dan’s Diner. In addition to an impressive list of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages that have been carefully selected to complement the food offering, we are proud to be showcasing a wide range of Victorian suppliers throughout the festival.

“A special thank you to Zonzo Estate, Payten & Jones, Pizzini, Onannon Wines, Melbourne Gin Company, Four Pillars Gin, Blackman’s Brewery, Chalmers Wines, Dal Zotto Wines, Patrick Sullivan Wines, Starward Whisky and Wonki Hard Seltzers for working with us to bring the essence of Victorian produce to the heart of this activation. It means so much to be able to spotlight the incredible range of independent Victorian producers we support in our stores.”

Dan’s Diner will be open daily 12-8pm from Friday 15 March until Sunday 25 March, except for the Dan’s Diner ticketed events on 18, 19 and 20 March when the Diner will close at 5pm. The ticketed events are now sold out. Walk-ins only for all other times, no bookings required.

The partnership and activation will be supported by a paid media campaign including targeted out-of-home placements in close proximity to food hotspots as well as social and owned channel support.


Dan Murphy’s

GM Marketing & Loyalty – Monique Holmes

Head of brand & experience – Maija Bell

Marketing manager – events & experience – Matthew Withers

Events specialist – Melissa Bennett

Marketing manager – brand – Jackson Young

Head of content – Kate Fitzpatrick

Marketing manager – content – Meaghan Payne

Content lead – Jean Kemshal- Bell

Food & Drink Victoria

Anthea Loucas Bosha – CEO

Pat Nourse – creative director

Camilla Jones – partnership director

Emma Musgrove – project manager ELM projects & events

The Big Group

Kate Langford – general manager

Malin Baker – event manager

Steffanie D’Alberto – creative director

Charlotte Matthews – graphic designer

It’s All G PR

Gemma Sampson – founder & director

Source: Endeavour Group


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