06/08/2008 - 22:00


06/08/2008 - 22:00


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THOSE looking forward to Rob and Sam Franchina's transformation of the lobby of the Exchange Plaza into a new restaurant/bar will be disappointed to learn that the opening, planned for June, has been delayed until October 2008 due to planning issues.

Rob Franchina says while a few changes have to be made to the plans, the project has 95 per cent of the approval needed to get started with the construction.

The Franchinas, who own the Onyx Bar in West Perth, plan to spend about $1.2 million developing the chic restaurant and bar, after buying the lease to the site from well-known restaurateur Warren Mead.

Gusto hopes they will be luckier than Mr Mead, who retained the lease of the venue for two years but abandoned his plans last year, when he sold the lease to the Franchinas.


Gusto hears the new Must Wine Bar venture in Margaret River - reported in the July 17 edition of WA Business News - is taking over the lease to Vat 107 restaurant and the bar next door, Vatini, located on 107 Bussell Highway.

Owned by Gary Cream and Jenny Spencer, Vat 107 was opened nine years ago.

The duo expended their business in another venture, Vat 2, located in Bunbury, five years ago.

"The Must guys are really great operators, they will bring something new to Margaret River like we did when we started Vat 107 nine years ago," Mr Cream told Gusto.

He says the sale is an opportunity to focus on Vat 2 and to get a break from running between the two locations.


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