Dan the man
In 1952, after many years of working for his father, 34-year-old Dan Murphy decided it was time to step out on his own. He leased a licensed grocery store in Chapel Street, Prahran, around the corner from the business run by his father, Timothy, in Commercial Road. Dan began trading his life’s passion – fine wine.
As Dan’s wine collection grew, he began to look for places to store it. The grand Prahran Arcade next door, at 282-284 Chapel Street, had an unused basement and in 1954 Dan, gaining permission from owner Paul Rose, knocked a space through the brick wall and began his Vintage Club and the retail business that would become Dan Murphy’s Cellars.
The Prahran Arcade certainly had a rich history even before Dan became acquainted with it. It was designed by prominent local architect George W. McMullen in 1889 and built by James McMullen for Mrs Elizabeth Delaney of St Kilda. Complete with Italianate-style architecture, and guarded by a pair of stone eagles, it was finished in 1890. The building became the Arcade Club Hotel and housed Turkish baths, a café, restaurant and billiard rooms.
Then in the 1920s, it became known as Centreway Arcade and tenants included a dance academy, painting school and clothing manufacturers.
Dan Murphy leased the building in 1968, renaming it The Gallery. The revitalised arcade was filled with specialty shops; a pizza bar and bistro followed, as did a restaurant, The Epicurean, where Dan and his son Philip worked at night.
Artist Howard Arkley and his wife Elizabeth Gower moved into the upper floors of the building in 1973. Dan Murphy’s Cellars operated above the arcade and, for many years, Dan used the grand ballroom of the former Arcade Club Hotel as his office.
Dan Murphy’s Cellar
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Dan’s tireless standards for range and quality saw the business grow and grow and become a hub for local wine enthusiasts.
Indeed, by 1978, Vintage Club membership had surged to 22,000 and Dan used the basement to store stainless-steel tanks holding up to 9000 litres of wine and cellared bottles for patrons.
Throughout its history, Dan Murphy’s Cellar was the best way to receive expert advice and discover fine aged wines, and the same remains true today.
We invite you to experience a world-class retail space. Located beneath street level, the Dan Murphy’s Cellar contains one of the most comprehensive collections of rare, back vintage and hard-to-source Australian and international wines, with a focus on creating a home for Australian and International wine producers.