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23-29 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE

The Bourke Street home of Society restaurant, in its heyday one of Melbourne’s best eateries, is about to hit the market with an asking price of about $8 million.

The three-level building, listed as notable under city planning laws, has been owned by the Codognotto family since 1981.

The Italian-themed Society restaurant was first opened by immigrant Guiseppe Codognotto in 1924 when southern European food was still a novelty in Melbourne.

It continued to trade for more than 90 years under various owners at the top end of Bourke Street near other establishment venues Pellegrini’s and Grossi Florentino before closing last year.

Gross Waddell associate director Raoul Salter said few buildings under $10 million in the city centre had been offered for sale over the past two years.

“They are generally tightly held,” he said.

The property sits in a heritage overlay with a 15-metre height limit and backs onto the rear of the Hotel Windsor, itself undergoing a revamp and rebuild.

Mr Salter said recent volatility in equity markets was likely to spur more investors to focus on property.