New faces on menu

THE Perth restaurant scene is undergoing some upheaval at the moment with at least two establishments favoured by the business community undergoing a change in management.

Umberto Tannelli confirmed he has sold the highly regarded Campo de’Fiori in Ardross to Zimbabwean expatriate restaurateurs Yvette and Duncan Barker.

Mr Tannelli is assisting a former Campo de’Fiori staff member in the redevelopment of the Floreat Beach kiosk.

Mrs Barker said she and her husband had quit their long-running involvement in restaurants and hospitality in Zimbabwe due to the political tension in the country and had decided to settle in Perth after a visit in July.

Their initial tour had not provided a purchase opportunity but agent Alan Maller, of White & Associates, had contacted them in August about Campo de’Fiori. Mr Barker, a chef with 23 years experience, came back to Perth in August and negotiations were conducted by telephone and fax during the next few weeks.

The couple came out again in October and worked with Mr Tannelli, settling the deal in November.

Mrs Barker said it was the first time the pair had bought an existing business but they had recognised the risks of coming to a new country and trying to start a business from scratch.

She also realised it was not easy following in the footsteps of the well-known Perth restaurateur, who established Campo de’Fiori as the premier south-of-the-river venue after selling West Perth’s popular Chianti on Collins.

“It is quite a challenge taking over from Umberto and taking over an Italian restaurant,” Mrs Barker said.

“We want to bring our style into it and maybe change the menu (but) we don’t want to change it too much, we want to keep the regulars coming back,” she said.

In other news, it is believed Warren Mead has been negotiating to repurchase Subiaco-based The Fish House from his former wife, Linda.

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