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SORRENTO’S Plum Restaurant will undergo renovations in the coming months meaning that, by September, patrons will be able to sit out in the sun. The restaurant looks over the beach at Hillarys and executive chef and co-owner Darryl Anglesey says the $500,000 project will also include a new-look kitchen.

“The reception area will be knocked out and we will get 22 seats that will be outdoor seating. The kitchen is being extended and will be an ‘open kitchen’,” he says.

Darryl says open kitchens are quite popular with customers.

“They prefer to see what’s happening; people can see you work and know that everything is clean, and it seems to be trendy.”

The Plum Restaurant closed off the terrace area in 1998 when it conducted its last big renovation, which included a bright paint job.

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Matera Cafe is the latest newcomer to the Hay Street Subi strip. While the name is not unfamiliar to Subiaco, part-owner Gino Matera says he and his brothers, West Coast Eagle Peter Matera and chef Gerard Matera, looked at many different options but decided on the former Hay Street Sushi Bar and Grill site. Gino, who also operates a hairdressing salon in Melville, says Peter’s football popularity has created strong interest, as well as a few opening time dilemmas.

“A guy who lived in Melbourne and followed Peter through his career has just moved here and has been in here every morning,” Gino says. “We’ve had a lot of requests to open at night time. We are opening before the game with Collingwood on Saturday but haven’t decided whether we’ll open after it.” Matera Cafe is open from 7.30am-4pm unless the footy crowd demands differently.

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Crowne Plaza’s Gusti Restaurant manager Josh Roberts has embraced a colder climate and will take up a position in Canberra’s Crowne Plaza. Moving out of his restaurant role, he will assume the position of business development manager later this month. Perth Crowne Plaza is currently wading through applications to find the best person to take over from Josh

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Iain Lawless, who has been helping out a few of our leading chefs, is soon to depart these shores, so if you need holidays you’d better get organised. Iain is currently cooking the Thai nights at Kuppa Restaurant. That followed a stint at his former business partner’s restaurant, Star Bistro, while said partner, Bruce Chapman, had a well-earned two-week holiday. Iain will be doing a few more freelance chef stints before heading overseas.

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Northbridge’s Barocco Restaurant is heavily promoting its recent renovations to let punters know that it is open for business. The restaurant keeps its doors closed due to the large masses of dust wafting up and down Newcastle Street thanks to some serious road works. Owner Tony Crucitti says four years of road works has been bad for business and is currently lobbying the Government to get the streetscape completed in the next few months. Functions and events manager Lara Standen has put together a deal that should get CBD punters back in droves. Barocco is offering a two-course meal plus a bottle of wine for $19.95. The new-look Barocco is also promoting its mussel bar, which Lara says many people do not know about.

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