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Competition’s good for business

THE news that Umberto Tinelli is opening a new restaurant, Rigoletto, just minutes away from his former establishment, Campo de Fiori (now known as Gala Restaurant), does not worry Gala’s new owners Hans Lang and Marianne Kempf. The pair bought the Campo de Fiori lease from Duncan and Yvette Barker after they had bought it from Umberto in November 2000.

The restaurant went into administration a little over a year later, allowing Hans and Marianne to purchase the lease.

Hans renamed the restaurant Gala in order to make it clear to the dining public that a new style and flavour would be offered, a trait that will allow them to do well even with Mr Tinelli returning to the old scene, Hans says.

“What we do and what he does are very different. He does it very Italian and we see ourselves as a European style,” he says.

The restaurant’s reputation as Gala is growing and increasing numbers of customers are visiting from outside the local area.

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For those who haven’t heard the word on the terrace – the Forest Centre Tavern has changed hands and is now operated by the Walker Family. Greg Walker says it took the family 18 months to convince Peter Northwood to give up his lease on the tavern, which houses Rigby’s Bar, and punters can expect some new, yet old, inclusions.

“We’ve gone back to pub food. There are a million places that are offering cafe food,” Greg says.

“We’ve put on a new [pub grub] menu for upstairs and there will be a new menu for downstairs starting in February.

“We will be putting on a night-time menu. It has never served food at night and we have had a lot of requests for it.”

On the menu you will find a hamburger and chips for $7.50, which comes with a free glass of wine, beer or soft drink. The same item will be available on the evening menu.

Also on the menu are those pub gub favourites – steak sandwiches, chicken burgers and gourmet potatoes.

Old Rigby’s fans should be sure to watch out for a special Rigby return evening. Cartoonist Paul Rigby is headed back to Perth and a reunion dinner will be held at the Forest Centre Tavern.

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A recent Gusto article highlighted a new Italian food importer, B.B.Billabong Food. It seems some people have had trouble finding contact details for the company.

Gusto has tracked down the web site that lists a range of produce on offer as well as a point of contact via email. The URL is www.B.B.Billabongfood.com

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