Lachlan Matheson and Phil Poussart have been mates for a long time. Having both worked in some impressive venues – Matheson cooked at Gerard’s and at Bright in London from the P Franco crew, while Poussart was sommelier at Pilloni, Essa and Hobart’s Fico – it was inevitable they would team up.

“We’ve been friends for over 16 years,” Matheson tells Broadsheet. “We were living [in Brisbane] together and then we’ve gone off and done our own things in different cities. It made sense to finally do something together.”

In April the duo will unveil Gum Bistro, a bright 40-seater in the former Pasta Club space. It’s a familiar location for Matheson, who’s spent the last few years cooking at Pasta Club. While he enjoyed his time there, he’s eager to “expand the menu and do a bit more of everything, not just [follow] a model where you come in for a pasta and share a side,” he says.

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Since taking over the space in February, the duo has been busy working on the fit-out, with help from Poussart’s retired carpenter father. The intention is a clean, minimalistic look with booth seating and colourful local artwork on the walls. Their goal is to create a bright space that will channel Pasta Club’s neighbourhood-focused approach.

“One of the things I like about the space is that it’s tucked away from the main drag of West End,” Poussart says. “It’s really casual … locals are always walking up and down and you see the same faces every day. We wanted to do something in that ethos, [serving] simple, nourishing food.”

Matheson’s menu will hero local produce and feature generous plates of food “instead of large proteins with a slice of lemon on the side”. Expect cabbage-wrapped cobia with sorrel and zucchini; Margra lamb rump with sweetbreads and beans; and a sweet corn agnolotti that should please Pasta Club regulars.

For wines, Poussart is compiling a list of his favourite drops from around the globe with an emphasis on affordability, offering 60 bottles under $120. There will also be a reserve list for those looking for something extra special.

Once open, Gum Bistro will serve breakfast on weekends. “The sort of places I really like are the joints that are open breakfast to dinner,” Poussart says. “You get someone in for coffee in the morning, and the same person comes back for dessert at 10 o’clock. We’re not going to do that seven days a week, but we’ll take advantage of that on the weekends.”

Gum Bistro will open at 237 Boundary Street, West End in early-April.