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A name change and a new direction is just the challenge Sioux Mocerino of Oyster Bar LinQ is looking for, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

SIOUX Mocerino is the new face behind the new look and renamed Oyster Bar at LinQ. Sioux is the restaurant manager and has worked for both the current owner (Warren Mead) and the previous owner (Linda Mead) but more recently ran her own hospitality consultancy, Lush Enterprises. She says the name change represents the restaurant’s new direction, without losing its association to the south Perth location.

“I don’t know why Warren kept it [LinQ] in the title but personally I think that it needed to stay because the venue has had so many name changes in the past. It has been here 12 months and by keeping LinQ in the name they know the location,” Sioux says.

“The decor is very different and less formal. I think people found it a little intimidating and it was aimed at the ‘A’ list. We’ve aimed it at a wider demographic. The food is really fresh and produce driven, with good size portions.

“But you can also just sit at the bar have some drinks and some oysters.”

The new Oyster Bar at LinQ has taken away the glitz and glamour but retained the style synonymous with LinQ. Black and cream now adorn the interior.

The summer months will also help Sioux and her team create an outdoor theatre.

“We are putting on an outside bar with a teriyaki grill and the chef cooking outside. We are going back to the theatre of cooking,” Sioux says.

And speaking of cooking, the man now heading up the kitchen is Dan D’Vauz, who was most recently working for Warren Mead at Black Tom’s.

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In other Warren Mead news the new-look Oyster Bar at Mead’s also has a new look kitchen team. Mead’s sous chef Scott Talbot has been promoted to head chef. Oyster Bar at Mead’s restaurant manager Paul Savy says he is currently talking to people to fill two junior sous chef positions, a move aimed at creating broader expertise in the kitchen.

“It changes the autocratic style and lets them feed off each other’s knowledge,” Paul says.

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THE long-awaited Box Building Restaurant opened this week. An official opening is expected next week to show-off what architect and brainchild behind the project, Jean-mic Perrine, says has not been seen in Perth before.

“I know a lot of people say that, but you will make your mind up when you see it,” he says.

“It’s not just a restaurant, it’s not just a bar, it’s not just a lounge. It’s a space where people can feel comfortable to go for a meal or go for a drink.”

Jean-mic has successfully secured a special facility licence to accommodate the different aspects of the venue.

Former C Restaurant manager Nicole McPhete is managing the venue.

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THE official opening of Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group’s Belgian Beer Cafe Westende is by no means the last of ALH’s developments this year. The group will commence fitting out the former Culture Garden site in a few weeks time. The group has leased the East Victoria park pub from the current owner, who is doing some extensive maintenance work, according to ALH area manager Brian Hopley.

“The owner of the building has completely gutted it. He is putting a car park at the back of the building and building a few walls. He is taking it back to its nuts and bolts,” Mr Hopley says.

“We will fit it out in three to four weeks. It will be very much like the Queens was five years ago, which is very appropriate for the area.”

And unlike the previous owner, ALH has the backing of the local council and residents.

“That is because we don’t have bands playing. We are very much about being a premium beer pub,” Mr Hopley says.

The newest edition to the ALH portfolio will be known as Balmoral, the name of an English castle said to be fit for a queen.

ALH has applied for the current liquor licence restrictions to be removed. These restrictions are some of the toughest imposed on a metropolitan liquor licence and require the operator of the venue to have security both at the venue and patrolling the site, rubbish emptied every day, and that no music be played after 10pm.

As yet no manager has been appointed to run Balmoral.

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CUT it Out has moved from its long-time address at 870 Hay Street into a larger and brighter store on Murray Street. Cut it Out’s Gillian Hector says the new-look store allows them to stock a wider range of products for professional cooks or serious home cooks.

“We can carry a lot more lines. We have extended the Chef Works uniforms,” she says.

“They have more interesting designs than the black and white. Our wine and bar section has got a lot more interesting too.”

The former Underground site left a shop-front cafe that the team at Cut it Out will open in November.

“We will serve a lot of coffee and cakes but we are still deciding on the menu,” Ms Hector says

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THE girls behind the Focus on Food cafe and catering company, Ann Moore and Emma Colombera, are in Italy. They have had to close the Murray Street store while they take more than a dozen West Aussies for a food inspired cultural journey of the Lucca district in Italy. The group is the largest booking since Ann began the food tours several years ago and its demand has prompted her to look at doing more than one trip a year.

“We will come back to Bonvissi [the villa in Lucca] in spring next year. There will be two trips to Italy and we are working on one to Morocco,” Anne says.

Focus on Food will reopen on November 4 with catering available from October 29.

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