10/01/2006 - 21:00

From Atlantic to Seven Seas

10/01/2006 - 21:00


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Seven Seas Bar and Restaurant is the latest player to set sail on Beaufort Street’s expanding sea of eateries.

From Atlantic to Seven Seas

Seven Seas Bar and Restaurant is the latest player to set sail on Beaufort Street’s expanding sea of eateries.

The new venture, at 677 Beaufort Street, joins a range of cafes and retail outlets that have sprung up near the Astor Cinema.

The Seven Seas site was once home to Piazza Restaurant. When that closed it was transformed into ENV, a late night bar and tapas format that never really took off.

Paul Zisopoulos and Denise DeSanges, the couple who began Atlantic Restaurant in Subiaco, have moved quickly with their new venture.

Settlement was finalised in August last year and a lightning fast renovation and redecoration that began in September enabled Seven Seas to open its doors three weeks ago.

Russell Dewson-Jones is acting as a consultant to the owners. An industry veteran of 20 years who is credited with the success of Atlantic, Mr Dewson-Jones describes Seven Seas as a venue that suits the ambience of the Beaufort Street strip, but provides its own unique atmosphere.

“We set this place up to cater for those who aren’t necessarily looking for the pub environment,” Mr Dewson-Jones says. “Somewhere where you can have a glass of champagne or a wine without being in a noisy environment.”

Seven Seas seats 120 inside with room for 45 alfresco. Currently trading Tuesday to Saturday, there are plans to launch a weekend breakfast offering.

As the name suggests, the bar and restaurant operate under a ‘special facility/other’ liquor licence, something becoming increasingly rare among new hospitality ventures. This licence gives Seven Seas far greater flexibility than many of its Beaufort Street neighbours, according to Mr Dewson-Jones.

At the helm in the business end of the kitchen is talented Perth chef Stuart Ferguson, formally of Monza Cafe in Leederville and Tony Barlow’s B Restaurant.

There are no surprises for guessing what Seven Seas highlights as its primary fare. With surprisingly few seafood eateries on Beaufort Street, the team at Seven Seas believes there is an opportunity to carve a niche for the new venture.

And the formula seems to makes sense. Western Australia lends itself to the ambitious seafood restaurateur who doesn’t want to compete with the many pasta and pizza joints on offer.

Mr Dewson-Jones says many would-be foodies operate under a misconception about seafood.

“Really, I think restaurateurs are frightened of seafood because they think it is too expensive; but its not. Although it is like risotto – it’s either really good or really bad,” he says.

“But for us, it all comes down to basics. Good quality food at affordable prices with great service; that’s all we’re aiming to do.”

While restaurateurs can talk for hours on the topics of ‘good service’ and the ‘art of hospitality’, Mr Dewson-Jones says the issue of investment in staff training is now a non issue, as businesses can’t thrive without it.

He says restaurants like Seven Seas need to have strong leadership from the top if they are to endure.

“[As a restaurateur] you can’t survive if you’re only worried about profit,” Mr Dewson-Jones says.

He believes there needs to be a “return to values” in the restaurant business, and describes the dedication of established owner/proprietor restaurants as the key to standing the test of time.

“Look at the ones who have lasted. Take the Romany for example and Enzo – that man is amazing because he is always there,” Mr Dewson-Jones says.

Seven Seas is the newest arrival to Beaufort Street, a location that’s already rivalling Fremantle’s cappuccino strip and Leederville at the vanguard of Perth’s creative hotspots.

Eclectic, entertaining and growing, the area from Highgate’s boundary right up past the Astor has now emerged as a provocative and dynamic microcosm of Perth.

Seven Seas will have a special launch party next month, which will also herald the opening of the soon-to-be-completed second storey.

The new owners plan to convert the venue into a function-dedicated location that will double as a late night bar capable of hosting 80 people.



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