27/03/2015 - 12:55

140 serves up a global experience

27/03/2015 - 12:55

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A four-year journey to create an international food and beverage precinct is coming to a close at 140 William.

140 serves up a global experience
EYE CATCHING: Artworks designed to enhance the dining experience are a prominent feature at 140 William. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A four-year journey to create an international food and beverage precinct is coming to a close at 140 William. 

Two new restaurants are due to open by the end of May at 140 William, while a tavern is expected before the end of the year at the historic Globe Hotel, capping a lengthy repositioning of the retail space at the CBD office tower.

Building owner Cbus Property initially launched the retail space at 140 William as a fashion precinct in 2011, an initiative that failed to lure shoppers away from the bustling CBD malls and into the laneways that make up the base of the building.

Cbus Property senior asset manager Chris Hardy said the building was completed around the time online shopping started its rise to prominence, while road redevelopment works around the tower also acted as a restriction to foot traffic.

“There were macro and micro economic issues that created a necessity for us to reassess the retail component of the asset,” Mr Hardy told Business News.

“We spent a long time researching what we should be doing and what direction we should be taking and we decided to go for food and beverage rather than fashion.”

Mr Hardy said Cbus decided to leverage off the momentum created by Jamie’s Italian, which opened amid much fanfare in March 2013, and create a uniquely international dining precinct.

However, getting the mix right took time, with Cbus aiming for tenants that were not already operating in Perth.

“We knocked back a lot of tenants that didn’t fit, and we could have leased those shops a year ago,” Mr Hardy said.

“It was a very different approach from a building owner because we’re under pressure to generate revenue from the asset.”

One of the latest additions to the mix is Bam Bam Boo – a modern take on Chinese cuisine delivered by the team behind the old Grand Palace restaurant, which was forced to shut its doors to make way for Elizabeth Quay.

At Bam Bam Boo, diners place orders via iPads and are notified of its readiness via text message. The owners also spent $2.5 million on machinery to automate the process of creating its various dim sum and dumplings.

Across the way, beer hall Brotzeit opened its doors in January, offering a wide range of German fare; however, its liquor licence precludes it from serving beers in traditional one-litre steins.

Also in February, the team at 140 William installed a pop-up Cuban-themed restaurant, Cocina Bandito, for a two-month run.

And hot on the heels of Brotzeit and Bam Bam Boo, coffee shop Max + Sons opened its doors at the beginning of March.

Rounding out the international offerings are two US-themed venues due to open in May – Ribs & Burgers and East Village Social.

The Globe Hotel is also expected to open later this year, with a decision by the Director of Liquor Licensing due by the end of next month.

Mr Hardy said about $20 million had been spent on the repositioning to date, while the other unique aspect of the precinct was the installation of public art.

Artworks from international and local visual artists, including renowned names such as Vans the Omega + Beastman, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Nike Savvas and Matt W Moore, are featured prominently to enliven the space and make it more welcoming.

“The uniqueness of the art enhances the eating experience,” Mr Hardy said.

“People want to spend more time there and feel naturally sympathetic with art.

“This is what retail is evolving into – creating experiences for people.”


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