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C means business

THE rumours surrounding the opening of the new C Restaurant have taken on a life of their own with speculation that the former Hilite 33 revolving venue had been transformed into everything from a nightclub to a skimpy bar.

The talk has been strong that new owners Phillip Clements and Peter Clements (no relation) have spent much of the time before Friday's glamour opening dis-pelling such myths.

"It's definitely not a nightclub," Phillip Clements said.

"I can't stress that too much."

Far from heading for the club market, the pair have set their sights firmly on the corporate market, adopting a two-prong attack to develop a restaurant catering to the 30 plus market and a function/conference venue which has a 100sqm 40-seater board-room, and a smaller 12-seater boardroom.

"We wanted a European-style restaurant," Peter Clements said.

"Somewhere relaxing and comfortable. Something with silver service plus. Somewhere where people can really be pampered and spoilt. Somewhere where you can spend an evening, not just have a meal.

"Too often people feel rushed in restaurants in Perth. When you finish your meal you're pretty much made to feel you're not welcome there any more.

"There's usually not a bar tender behind the cocktail bar, so you look around and the only choices people have is to either go home, and sometimes that's not the most appropriate thing to say if you're with a young lady, or they're left to go out into the entertainment district.

"The problem is that the entertainment district, we believe, runs out by 10 or 11pm for people over the age of 30.

"So what we've designed is a place that will allow people to stay until three in the morning after they've had their meals if they want to.

"We have separate lounge areas, and those lounge areas can be used for pre-dining, post-dining or even to a certain percentage, people can come up, meet friends who have just had dinner and have a drink without dining, but that (drinking without dining) is not our focus."

But partner Phillip Clements adds that the vital corporate lunch market will still be catered for.

"It's for those people who don't have a lot of time to spend at lunch," he sasid.

"If they come into the restaurant and say 'I only have 40 minutes to have lunch' then we will fast track their order and make sure they have their meals in the time they want them."

Another unique feature designed to capture and captivate the corporate market is the inclusion of a smoking room.

"We're the only restaurant in the city where people can legally go into a comfortable surrounding, well-ventilated area and have a cigarette," Peter Clements said.

"We've made a beautiful lounge for the smokers. Smokers make up 40 per cent of the population right now, why should they be turned away?"

"We've spent $50,000 on the latest Australian Standards, all approved by the council," Phillip Clements said.

Located one floor above the restaurant, the smoking room is starkly white; complete with cock-tail bar, cream lounge chairs and low-hanging wide-brimmed lights, contrasting to the restaurant below which has been redesigned by Andrea Horwood and Lisa Sheph-erd in a modern, elegant style, with two lounge areas and a cocktail bar decked out in black mirror-like acrylic walls and grey carpet.

Located on the 25th floor, the two function/board rooms are furbished in the traditional boardroom style and have direct elevator access to the restaurant.

Functions manager Megan Holly said the function area, with views over the Swan River, could cater for anything from a board meeting to a week-long conf-erence, taking care of accomm-odation and transfers for those based outside Perth.

"Any equipment needed we can also provide," she said.

The restaurant began taking function bookings before the opening, so future guests are being advised to book functions and conferences as far in advance as possible to ensure availability.

Floor staff were hand-picked by the owners and placed into a training program weeks before the opening on Australia Day.

Another feature about C Restaurant is that the kitchen has two executive chefs.

While many might gasp at the thought of two executive-sized egos in one kitchen, the partners remain confident that this will be yet another unique concept to capture the attention of Perth's corporate market.

The pair are Darren King, formerly a chef at The Loose Box Restaurant, and Patrick Shaw, a seafood specialist from The Subiaco Hotel.

The kitchen also boasts a risotto chef from Altos, in Subiaco.

The launch of the restaurant conveniently coincided with the Australia Day fireworks display, with guests being treated to one of the best seats in Perth.

The opening was no less decadent than promised with guests lining up on a red carpet for the $150 a ticket even.

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