Throughout his career in hospitality, Elliot Moore say he has always focused on looking after the little guy.
As co-owner of one of Perth’s leading boutique bottleshops in Mane Liquor, Mr Moore’s business philosophy has revolved around providing a wider range of locally produced and limited edition beers and wines than his competitors.
The pair opened their new venture in August last year – Besk – a tavern, restaurant and bottleshop combination situated across the road from West Leederville train station.
Mr Moore said one of the driving motivations to open Besk was to take his support for small producers to a new level.
“It’s too often that you go to a pub and it’s got the same beer taps as the one down the road, or the same wine list,” Mr Moore told Business News.
“We still want to represent those small guys.
“I heard a story not long ago about these distribution guys who sell to the big groups, and it’s something like $20,000 just to get your wine on their list for these huge groups of pubs.
“How do the small guys ever compete?”
Preliminary discussions with the Town of Cambridge unearthed the council’s desire for a small bar at the Railway Parade location, however, Mr Moore and Mr Braham were resolute in their desire to open a larger venue.
“It is very hard to make a small venue a viable option commercially, unless you want to work in it every day,” Mr Moore said.
“So we said we wanted to do a liquor store and a bar and an offering of this size, so we wanted a tavern licence.”
The Besk approach clearly resonated with Perth hospitality professionals, Mr Moore said, with about 1,000 applications lodged by people seeking to work at the venue prior to its launch.
And while craft beer and natural wines are an integral part of the Besk offering, Mr Moore said it was an important aspect of the pub’s marketing plan that those words would never be used.
“Nowhere does it say we are a craft beer venue, or a natural wine venue,” he said.
“We haven’t used any of those hot trends, we’ve tried to steer clear of that so when people discover us they can make up their own mind about who we are.
“The second we start using those words, that’s when you become Besk, the beer place, and suddenly a lot of people who are into wine don’t come and check us out.
“We came up with that name because it doesn’t really have a meaning to anyone, it doesn’t pigeonhole us in any way, so when someone comes down they can make up their own mind of what Besk means to them.”
Mr Braham, who has designed several hospitality venues through his architectural practice, including Maylands’ Dainty Dowager and Shenton Park’s Raisin’ Bakery, agreed that the central premise of Besk was that it would appeal to as wide a range of demographics as possible.
“We want to be here for the people,” Mr Braham said.
“We kind of want to let people make it what they want to make it; if you want to drink a Melbourne Bitter, that’s fantastic. I don’t want to tell people how to live, I just want them to be happy here.
“We love the fact that you can look around the bar and see some younger kids coming through, maybe 20 to 23, and there’s also some 65 to 70 year olds meeting up there.
“I love the fact that it’s not just the cool kids coming and everyone is welcome.“If you can cross generations, then that to me is a success, because you’re just making people happy.”