The city’s suits are expected to flock to Bar One when it opens this week. The latest venture from Geoff Hayward and Stephen Scaffidi will deliver light, contemporary food with a focus on simplicity, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.
BAR One, the bar and restaurant project of Geoff Hayward and Stephen Scaffidi, will be open for business this weekend at QV1.
The opening night follows a long development process for the hospitality trendsetters, with the new venue described as a classic blend of Scaffidi and Hayward style.
Clean lines and natural wood are the cornerstone of what will surely become a favourite among the city’s suits.
Altos bistro sous chef Anthony Schell is in charge of the kitchen, which will deliver light, contemporary food where simplicity is paramount. Expect to see pasta and salad, starters and snacks.
The Italian-style bar and restaurant will be open from 7am Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch.
A state-of-the art sound system has been installed and the pair is keen to introduce the art of the afternoon aperitif to Perth. That’s Italian for an appetiser drink, think cocktails and great food designed to share.
It seems businesses and restaurants are in a rush to move to the western end of town. Gusto has learned that serious negotiations are taking place between the Woodside building’s leasing agents and a Sydney-based proprietor for a 250 square metre restaurant site on the premises.
The owners of Chutney Mary’s in Subiaco have acquired space on the opposite corner, at the Next Building, and intend to open an Indian restaurant (not named Chutney Mary’s) in a few months time. Gusto has been told the owners of Chutney Mary’s paid slightly over $2 million for the site.
Barrack Street Jetty has come to life in recent weeks with two new restaurants opening. The proprietors of Esplanade vegetarian restaurant Annalakshmi have leased the Western Pavilion, which has been empty for about two years. The new Barrack Street Jetty site, Annalakshmi on the Swan, carries the same food, service and culture of the former restaurant.
Proprietor Arun Radha Krishnan said he had opened at a new location after 12 years at the Esplanade site because the landlord was converting the premises into offices.
Also new to Barrack Street Jetty is Halo restaurant. The new owner of what used to be Moorings Cafe, John Hooper, has revamped the venue, throwing out the cafe culture and bringing up-market dining to the jetty.
Mr Hooper took over the lease of the site, which has been vacant for some months, only a few weeks ago but has spent the past months planning a rejuvenation of the restaurant.
Mr Hooper has gutted the restaurant and hopes to make a fresh start and attract a broad range of punters to the riverside venue.
“I saw an opportunity to have something up-market that was a cross between fine dining and a cafe,” Mr Hooper says.
“We have absolutely gutted the place and totally refurbished it. The restaurant was tired and we’ve brought it back.
“Everything we do we make on premise. We make our own jams, our own chutneys, we smoke our own salmon and we make our own ice cream.”
Mr Hooper has spent time in St Kilda, Darling Harbour, and Queensland’s South Bank investigating how other river/sea view restaurants operate and believes his venue has what it takes to survive.
“We’re trying to attract the business market from St Georges Terrace,” he says.
Mr Hooper says he does not find parking in the area a problem for his business, often a common complaint from Barrack Street Jetty operators.
“I’m looking at the Perth Concert Hall right now and it’s only 200 to 300 metres away. In the evening parking is no problem at all and in winter we will do valet parking if we need to.”
Mr Hooper says his restaurant will not just offer something more up-market but also some different tastes for Perth food lovers.
“Our breakfast menu is very different. We have bacon, grilled bananas with maple syrup on French toast. We have ricotta hotcakes and lots of other things that is more of a Sydney type breakfast, which is new to Perth.”
But if a traditional breakie is more to your liking, it’s also on the menu.
“It’s a very comprehensive menu and there is a full fry up on there,” Mr Hooper says.
Halo’s head chef Scott O’Sullivan has worked at Stephenie’s Restaurant and Friend’s Restaurant.
Mr Hooper was the owner of Feather’s restaurant on Roe Street during the 1980s.
Warren Mead’s Oyster Bar concept now extends from South Perth to Fremantle, with his latest venue Oyster Bar on the Beach launching next week.
He has poured long hours and lots of money into revitalising what he calls a “very run down” Surf Club in order to convert the venue into the classic Oyster Bar style – plenty of black and white and, yes, oysters.
But what sets this venue apart is its outside area, which Mr Mead hopes will attract a different type of clientele.
“The outdoor area will have barbecues that we will be cooking lighter style food on,” Mr Mead says.
“It will open from Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner and there will be plenty of music, food, and fun.
“There is an opportunity for us to get a younger market coming in.”
Café del Mar producer Luke Neville will be the venue’s resident DJ and he’s planning a big New Year’s Eve party for this year.
Mr Mead says the indoor restaurant will operate like the other oyster bar venues.
So how many more Oyster Bars can Perth expect to open in the coming months? Mr Mead says he has had several approaches for venue sites and is investigating establishing more restaurants, but at this stage it’s under wraps.