Chapel Street is a popular shopping, dining and nightlife precinct in Melbourne’s south-east, with a reputation for being the city’s fashion and style capital. It stretches more than four kilometres through the suburbs of South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor and St Kilda.
To the south of Dandenong Road, Chapel Street is a predominantly residential area with upmarket apartments and townhouses, while to the north it is clustered with more than 900 boutiques, cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The area around Windsor is particularly renowned for its trendy eateries, while the South Yarra end further north is home to exclusive fashion designers and one-of-a-kind boutiques. The Jam Factory is one of the street’s most famous shopping and entertainment complexes, originally established as the Victorian Brewery in 1858, while the exclusive Como Centre on the corner together with Toorak Road houses both local and international designer stores. For fresh fruit, vegetables and gourmet produce, head to the Prahran Market which has been in operation for over 120 years or catch a film at the heritage-listed Astor Theatre with its 1930s art deco-styled interior. The mid 19th century bluestone Independent Church at the end of Carlton Street has now been converted into the Chapel Off Chapel theatre venue, hosting independent theatre and cabaret, as well as a visual arts gallery.
Chapel Street is well served by trams which run its entire length and connect it with the city centre and surrounding suburbs. It’s also within a short walk of the railway stations at South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor and Balaclava, all of which are situated on the Sandringham line.
It was after the construction of Prahran’s first church in 1850 that the street’s name was changed from Fitzroy Road to Chapel Street. The deep clay deposits found within the area led to various brick makers establishing businesses here in the mid 19th century, together with flour millers, bakers, butchers, carpenters, blacksmiths and drapers, before large department stores began springing up in the early 20th century.