CLYDE and Lesley Bevan are close to appointing a head chef to take over the reigns from Andy Henderson, who is leaving Friend’s at the end of the month. The pair is also searching for a buyer for the restaurant.
The Bevans had to forego an opportunity to open a restaurant at the top of BankWest Tower several months ago because a suitable buyer for Friend’s failed to surface. According to Mr Bevan the reason the pair want to move on is to capitalise on the popularity of its entertainment evenings.
“We’ve been looking for something a bit bigger because when we have our entertainment nights we sell out and we have to turn people away. It’s a huge success,” Mr Bevan says.
He says the restaurant has experienced its best six months of revenue since it opened in 1997.
“It’s going at half the price it would take to set it up,” according to Mr Bevan.
Friend’s Restaurant has the capacity for 110 people and Mr Bevan says he wants a venue that could seat up to 200 people.
The man behind Chutney Mary’s Indian Restaurant in Subiaco, Murray Kimber, has applied for a liquor licence for the new restaurant he is planning in the CBD. The site, at the bottom of the Next building (opposite QV1), will be called Nine Mary’s Restaurant.
Mr Kimber’s business partner in the Chutney Mary venture, Sid Grewal, is not a director in the new venture. Mr Grewal operates Maya Masala in Northbridge and Mr Grewal’s wife Stephanie is listed as a director of Chutney Mary’s.
Mr Kimber is also behind the new Indian restaurant venture taking place on the former Domain furniture shop site in Highgate.
Iain Lawless has been appointed head chef to Amanda Thomas and Ash Huish’s restaurant – the as yet unnamed My Restaurant Rules restaurant in Lake Street Northbridge. Mr Lawless is well-known in foodie circles as one of Perth’s most talented chefs.
He is the former co-partner of Lawless and Chapman, which is now run by the Chapman family as Star Bistro.
Dunsborough’s Cape Wine Bar has been sold to a local partnership, who say they plan to open the bar earlier than its previous opening time of 4pm.
Cameron Jennings, his brother Peter and Cameron’s girlfriend, Jessica Ashford, will take over the wine bar’s operation from April 2.
According to Cameron Jennings, a chef by trade, the team will open the venue for lunch and assess the viability of opening seven days a week.
“We’re looking at opening seven days a week but it gets quiet in winter so we’ll see how it goes and we might stick with six days a week,” he says.
And, being a chef himself, Mr Jennings says there will be more attention paid to serving good food without taking the focus off the wine.
“We’re going to do more substantial food here; at the moment its pretty limited,” he says.
“We’re going to crank up the food side.
“It’s only a small kitchen and we don’t want to change it from a wine bar to a restaurant. But we will have food for people that want to have a substantial meal with their wine.” Mr Jennings is currently preparing a menu.
Cape Wine Bar was open less than a year under owner, Ray Jowett.
"We're looking at opening seven days a week but it gets quiet in winter so we'll see how it goes and we might stick with six days a week. We're going to be more substantial food here."
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