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Too big too soon for Rabbit Moon

PERTH isn’t ready for a 100-seat vegetarian restaurant according to the former owner of Rabbit Moon, Jenny Holton, who sold the concern last month after failing to reach her business targets.

“There is definitely a need for vegetarian restaurants in Perth but I don’t think this city was ready for a 100-seat establishment, it was too big,” Jenny says.

She has sold the restaurant, located at 201 Onslow Road Shenton Park, to former operator of Highlight 33, Alain Kuhl. Alain is currently renovating the site, which will reopen as the Onslow Bistrot.

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The owner of a new Subiaco restaurant will divulge more information to the industry and punters in the coming weeks. What Gusto can tell you is that a liquor licence application has been made for a new establishment to be known as Blue Mussel. The owner, Nick Allen, says it is all a bit of a secret at the moment and that in the coming weeks guests will be invited to meet the management team and get a feel for what they are all about.

The directors of Blue Mussel Subiaco also own the company name Blue Mussel Management, lending weight to the idea that the restaurant could be a franchise model.

The site, at the west end of the Subiaco train station, is still under construction, but Nick says it will be open in a few weeks.

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The Subiaco Hotel’s long serving head chef Ivan Rutherford will soon depart for a year-long working holiday in Europe. Ivan has been at the restaurant for nearly seven years and says he is looking forward to seeing some sights and meeting up with his employer, Judy Monaghan, later in the trip.

“I’m immediately heading for Paris to have a potter around and then I’ll head to London to do some work and then to the Mediterranean over the summer, but nothing is etched in stone,” Ivan says.

“I’ll be consulting with the Subi and working with the management on food development while I am over there. Judy Monaghan will meet up with me in Italy in the New Year and we plan to study Italian food; we both have a great love for the Italian culture.

“Travelling is a great thing to do; it’s very easy to get caught up in little old Perth. Going overseas is inspiring.”

Ivan was in Europe last September but says that three-week stint did not allow him to see and taste everything.

“I go away for three weeks and I always feel very rushed,” he says.

And he isn’t worried about leaving the troops at Subi’s kitchen.

“My kitchen is in very good condition. I have a stable, solid team who will do just fine without me,” Ivan says.

Taking over from Ivan will be his right-hand man, senior sous chef Brad Burton.

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Fremantle South Terrace restaurant Madonna’s is not being actively sold by owner Eric Fazio. Eric, who also owns The Clink, says while everything has a price tag he is not whacking a big ‘for sale’ sign outside.

The nightclub, The Clink, will undergo an extension in the coming months to allow for a new bar and more room for punters.

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